Teaching and Learning Modalities

Your faculty care about your health and your education, and we’ve asked them to determine a timeline for introducing in-person instruction that supports their course content and lesson plans (for example, it may make more sense to complete a unit first). Faculty will give students a minimum of one week’s notice before the potential addition of any in-person learning elements. 

Flexible learning environment
Our phasing-in to campus learning will also be shaped by the nature of courses themselves. A  select number of classes have been identified as priorities for in-person learning because they have learning outcomes that can most readily be achieved through face-to-face instruction. Those courses — which include some labs, clinical and performance-based experiences, and formative community-building classes for first-year students — will phase back in first. 

More in-person elements of blended classes may be added as public-health guidance indicates it is appropriate to increase population density on campus. Additional in-person elements will be implemented by individual faculty in the manner that best suits their courses and learning objectives.

Plans and potential pivots
It’s important to underscore that the return to the classroom may not follow a straightforward path. While our campus experienced a pivot in one direction last March — going from fully in-person to fully remote — the potential pivots in Spring 2021 may happen in different ways and at different times. Some will be by our own design. 

Other scenarios, such as presumed positive cases among students, faculty, and their respective households, hold the potential to be more unpredictable and disruptive. Naturally, if you or a member of one of your in-person courses tests positive, or if a member of your household does, you can expect up to a required 14-day quarantine. As you think through different scenarios, you can see that this type of disruption could happen as many times as community members test positive across different classes and living situations.

Remote Learning
There may be the necessity for some students to participate in remote learning because of their own personal circumstances, such as their health or the health of a household member, or in response to a requirement for a period of isolation or quarantine. For short-term accommodations (two weeks or less), students should work directly with their faculty to develop a plan for remote learning. Students who wish to participate in classes remotely for the entire semester should contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation at oaa@plu.edu to request educational accommodations.

Research with Human Subjects
For Spring 2021, all undergraduate and graduate student research involving human participants must be conducted online or remotely. Exceptions may be made for graduate students with training in infection prevention and control (e.g., DNP students). Contact the Human Participants Review Board (hprb@plu.edu) if you have any questions. Any research involving in-person interaction must follow current public health and PLU requirements and will require a risk analysis and mitigation plan.

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