Forward Falcon Q&A Series: Fall Classes with Provost Whitehead

Joe-Whitehead

Dr. Joe B. Whitehead answers frequently asked questions about what classes will look like this fall

This week, Bowling Green State University announced Design My BGSU, an initiative that allows students to customize their fall learning experience.

Driven by student feedback, Design My BGSU changes and enhances course delivery options, providing more flexibility for students to decide how they want to learn this fall.

Dr. Joe B. Whitehead, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, is leading academic planning amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and is sharing more information about what fall will look like in our Forward Falcon Q&A series.

What is Design My BGSU?

Design My BGSU allows students to customize their learning experience. Over the course of the summer, students have shared their thoughts on what they want fall classes to look like. Based on student feedback, we launched Design My BGSU to give students the opportunity to tailor their fall 2020 semester across three delivery modes: in-person/hybrid, remote, and online. Students can complete coursework virtually by taking online and remote classes, opt for a face-to-face experience through in-person/hybrid courses or enroll in a mixture of all three. All delivery modes provide opportunities for students to engage directly with faculty and other students in multiple ways.

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What will in-person classes look like this fall?

In-person classes will be hybrid-based, meaning there will be a blend of in-person and online elements. For example, a faculty member might give a virtual lecture to all students during a regularly scheduled period, and then meet face-to-face with students in smaller groups during the rest of the week. These classes will be held in rooms that allow for sufficient physical distancing.

What is the difference between a remote class and an online class?

Remote classes will be fully online during scheduled days and times. Students will have real-time interaction with their faculty instructor and fellow students during their scheduled course times.

Students taking online classes do not typically meet on specific days and times, which allows for a great deal of flexibility since students can complete coursework at their preferred time as long as assignment deadlines are met. Faculty will interact with students throughout the course.

How do I decide what my classes will look like this fall?

Students can meet with our dedicated advising team to adjust schedules for specific course delivery modes. We are committed to supporting students at their comfort level as they design their experience at BGSU.

Will I be able to participate in hands-on learning experiences, including labs and studios?

Many labs, studios and other classes that use specialized rooms or equipment will also have an in-person component that allows students to get the hands-on experience needed to make progress toward their degree. Guidelines are in place to minimize risk, and these experiences may also be supplemented with online work to ensure that all students are able to participate.

How will classrooms be set-up to allow for physical distancing?

Approximately 70 percent of our courses will have an in-person component that will allow students to interact with faculty and their peers in a safe, physically-distanced manner. We have redesigned all of our classroom spaces – plus several other spaces not typically used for instruction – to ensure that as many students as possible will be able to take classes on campus if they wish.

With the health and safety of our campus community in mind, students, employees and visitors will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor public and shared environments, including classrooms. In addition to face coverings and physical distancing, we will have enhanced cleaning in classrooms which will include frequent cleaning of high touchpoints, additional hand sanitizer stations and the use of electrostatic spraying units and autonomous vacuums.