Fall 2020 Scheduling COVID-19-TEXAS Style

Hello!  I hope everyone is happy and healthy!  We are in the throws of seeing how Fall 2020 scheduling looks like! Our A&M System has provided little guidance and is allowing the institutions to create their own plan. There are so many places to START! The actual process of re-scheduling courses into rooms is the easy part...thank you OPTMIZER! But what does it looks like as far as figuring our the capacity. We are going with 50% and that has been questioned.

Questions

What are y'all doing as far as capacity?

What are y'all doing as far as the modality of course offering? 

Are y'all worried about the SUE score? 

Who is responsible for cleaning rooms after the class ends for the day? 

Anything else for the good of the order?

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Comments

11 comments
  • Yes, Christie we are in the throws of the Fall 2020 with social distancing looming in the background. With the considerations of capacity, how is your Safety Emergency Management team guiding you all? Did they present particular guidelines?

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  • Our Emergency Management team along with Environmental Health & Safety are working on max capacities right now.  When I asked what percentage they were going to use, they said "IT ... IS ... NOT ... THAT ... SIMPLE."   I am not sure how they will go about getting COVID caps. :(

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  • Our office is reviewing room capacities today with our Emergency Health and Safety team. It isn't as simple as I would like:) One of our largest rooms was reduced by 53% and another one reduced 74%! Honestly, I am a loss at what to do.  We are looking at a 6 feet front, back and side to side. We are mulling over the idea of requiring masks in classrooms to decrease the social distance to 3ft. Please tell me all the things related to scheduling in a COVID world! 

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  • lol!! Like all things related to the existing in a COVID world, can someone please write the book. Yes, it is not that simple at all. Presently, our campus leadership teams are mulling over all various types of possibilities. Interesting times. . .

    I know several associate deans have spoke of a possibility of creating blended classes to have one group meet on one date of the week and the other group meet on another date (for example a class of 30, take 15 on a Tuesday, and the other 15 on a Thursday). This could work for the Tuesday and Thursday or Monday and Wednesday meeting patterns, but there is a heck of a lot MWF.

     

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  • I was listening to a webinar and one school said they may have Saturday courses; and, this is what causes me concern, more event space used for courses.  This will cause us to not have near as many events.  But, who wants to have an event that normally would have 250 people but now can only have 52 (with 6' social distancing)?

    ~sigh~ I can't wait until fall is over, and we can see how all this plays out. :)

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  • I totally get your concern about event space usage. Our Asst Director of Conference Services, Susan Cordell is feeling the same anguish. She met you Vicky and thought you were great. Susan and I collaborate a lot, and she mentioned that they will be using some of her conference centers for classes.

    And, yes, may fall soon be behind us and allow us to see new light. 

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  • Greetings Christie.  San Antonio College is currently discussing offering 25% vs 50% of fall courses in the classroom.  The logistics of creating course sections in classrooms designed for small or large class limits with social distancing are rather daunting.  Since our state and federal reimbursement dollars per contact hour would be reduced for dramatically reduced class sizes I'm wondering about the efficacy of returning to the classroom this fall for classes that we are offering through remote classroom teaching with ZOOM and Canvas.  The major exception would be classes for some programs that require labs and specialized equipment students couldn't possibly have in their homes both from safety and prohibitive cost issues.  While I am confident the Administration will make a decision soon; I am thankful that when they do make that decision that Ad Astra support will be here to help if we need assistance making alterations to room assignments to spread out f2f courses over the campus and reduce crowding and promote social distancing. Remember, this too shall pass; and as Sandi said, " . . . fall will soon be behind us and allow us to see new light."

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  • A note about wearing masks in the classroom.  Wearing a mask in public is required in San Antonio.  Remember masks are no guarantee of preventing exposure to COVID19, but a preventive measure to prevent the spread of the virus - especially for those who are asymtomatic.  If we return to the classroom here, everyone will have to wear a mask.  A primary reason is that the HVAC systems have return air ducts most classrooms.  HVAC are hypothetically closed systems so that exhalations times X number of students would be picked up by the return air and recycled within the system, along with anything present in the exhalation. I'm sure risk managers are looking at ways to mitigate spread issues by installing hepifilters which are not standard in public buildings.  Since scientists really don't know enough about COVID19 at this point to determine how the virus could be spread amid its many mutations since leaving China, I believe it would be unwise to allow students to sit closer than the federally recommended 6' social distance rule even with masks.  A typical classroom for us is usually 30'x25' (varies) is 750 sq. ft.; with social distancing at 6' each student would be required 125 sq. ft. of space between every other student front/back-side/side.  One of my classrooms that holds 22 students would have to be reduced to 10 students to maintain social distance protocols.  So this means, we're going to have to allow multiple class sections and instructors will have to teach overloads which are currently not allowed.  It's either that or begin hiring adjunct faculty at break neck speed and get them trained by fall.  Gosh what a daunting thought that is.

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  • Great to meet you, Holly! That BAS-Architecture will serve you well in our present environment. :) Being creative with the space we have is no doubt offering us some creative opportunities with scheduling. I know we are trying to utilize every space capacity we have from conference center classrooms to seminar classrooms, but then we have think beyond those spaces.

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  • University of Oklahoma Classroom Management here!  We are staggering start and end times (about 15 minutes, so one class starts at 9:00 but next door that class starts at 9:15) of classes based on ODD/EVEN rooms so there will be fewer students in hallways.  We are putting some space between classes to allow for staggered arrival of students rather than everyone rushes to the door 5 minutes before class, we're putting about 30 minutes between each class.  Fire Marshal and Emergency Management team are currently measuring every classroom, lab, computer lab and reservation space we have on campus for COVID capacity, which is averaging under 50% capacity in quite a few spaces.  I'm looking to utilize the optimizer now with about 700 classes left to reshuffle in to larger spaces.  I'm waiting for Ad Astra to contact me on why my WEB and VIDC (video Conferencing) buildings aren't showing up and keeping those classes from optimizing.  If anyone knows what I may be doing wrong, advice is welcome!  All of this to say, are we still having football...cause I quit.  LOL  JK.  We are also having HVAC adjusted for greater circulation in all rooms.  This Fall is crazy... and after it's over I never want to discuss it again, like that cousin you don't invite to the family reunion because you know they're going to bring someone crazy who will make a scene and ruin everything!!  

    Kelly Stout

    Office of the Registrar ] Division of Enrollment Management

    Classroom Management

    University of Oklahoma

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  • Here at University of Houston-Clear Lake we are actually taking it to 25% capacity instead of the 50%.

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