The COVID-19 pandemic led many college campuses to shutter their doors unexpectedly in the spring of 2020. In the majority of cases, the institutions shifted their courses online, allowing students to continue working toward their education without having to set foot on campus.
However, as spring shifted into summer, there wasn’t a clear consensus regarding what life would look like for students in the fall. While the California State University system decided to remain predominately online, other colleges were determined to bring students back to campus. But that approach may require a variety of concessions or new rules, depending on the state of the pandemic.
If you are wondering what life may look like for students in the fall, here’s a look at some of the possibilities.
In some cases, students are going to remain remote. Certain colleges are deciding that caution is the best approach, especially as some experts believe a new surge will likely happen by around October.
For students at these institutions, online learning may be the only choice. This could include synchronous or asynchronous approaches, depending on the school. However, the remote approach would practically be universal.
A Blended Approach
Not all courses can be translated into the online world. For example, lab-based education doesn’t always work remotely, as the hands-on component is critical to the learning process.
In these cases, schools may opt for a hybrid approach. Essentially, they’ll focus primarily on online methods for subjects that work well with that paradigm. For ones that don’t, some classroom or lab-based learning may occur.
Usually, with the blended approach, in-person education is going to be subject to strict requirements. For example, class sizes may shrink to accommodate social distancing, and face masks may be mandatory.
In any case, most colleges are prioritizing agility. For those that intend to welcome students to their campuses, having a backup plan is likely part of the process. That way, should there be an unexpected spike in cases, they can transition to an online-only educational system.
Ultimately, it isn’t clear how long COVID-19 will be a concern, so colleges and students need to be flexible. That way, they can easily adapt to the shifting circumstances, ensuring everyone can stay safe will students continue their journeys toward their degrees.
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