What Will Class Look Like This Fall?

July 31, 2020

For students and faculty, all classes will be considerably different this fall semester. First-time and returning students will encounter new class formats. For some professors, it will be their first time delivering course content in a different way. And everyone physically coming to campus will experience new check-in procedures and classroom physical distancing layouts. All these measures are part of CU Denver’s Safe Return plan. By now, months after coronavirus arrived in the U.S., most people realize the importance of safety practices. Many students and professors really just want to know what to expect. For those wondering what class will actually look like, here is a brief explanation. 

4 Class Formats

As listed in the Safe Return Student Resources, there are four fall 2020 class formats—on-campus, remote, online, and hybrid. When you register for classes, you will find the format for each class in your student portal. On-campus and hybrid classes will include a physical location on campus. Remote and online classes will simply list “remote” or “online” as the location.

On-campus classes meet at CU Denver’s campus at pre-scheduled meeting days/times. Certain student groups, such as first-time students and graduate students, may have more on-campus classes. Certain classes, such as those with studio and lab components, also received priority for being taught in an on-campus format.

Remote classes are similar to on-campus classes, because they meet at pre-scheduled meeting days/times. They are taught via Zoom, a video and audio conferencing/webinar platform. Professors can see their students on camera, students can see their professors, and students can see each other. Zoom also allows students to turn off their cameras and mute themselves. There is no on-campus component, but remote classes are good for students who like the structure of scheduled class meetings.

Online classes have a flexible schedule that students access online. Students can do the coursework at their own pace, in other words. Coursework may include prerecorded lectures. There is no on-campus component and no specific meeting days/times. This class format is the most flexible, so it’s ideal for students who have jobs with unpredictable hours, students who are caring for others at home, etc.

Hybrid combines on-campus and online class formats. There are some pre-scheduled live meetings on campus, along with flexible-schedule learning in an online setting. Students in hybrid classes will come to class on certain days and work online on other days. Hybrid classes provide an interpersonal experience with instructors and a physical connection to campus, but they also include self-paced coursework students access online.

How Do I Get On Campus?

If you do plan to come to the CU Denver this fall, there are some Campus Safety Protocols you should know about. First, anyone coming onto campus must wear a face mask or face covering that covers the nose and mouth. 

Additionally, anyone entering campus must proceed to one of the health screening stations located throughout campus, where they will complete a daily health attestation

How Do I Get Into Buildings?

Once you have your color-coded wrist band, you will go to your classroom building. There will be clearly marked, designated entry and exit doors. Everyone on campus must enter a building through the designated entry point and exit a building through the designated exit point. Stairway and hallway traffic will proceed on the right side (as with car traffic in the U.S.).

What About My Classroom?

Your classroom will look different as well. All classrooms have had their occupancy rates modified in order to maintain the recommended six-foot social distancing guidelines. Room occupancies were determined using social distance circles for all students and an instructor zone (see diagram). Adequate distancing is maintained by not allowing any two or more circles to overlap. Everyone in class, including the instructor, will be wearing face masks or face coverings.

two class layouts with social distance circles
These two classroom layouts show adjusted seating capacity using Social Distance Circles.

In classrooms with fixed seats, certain seats will be blocked to maintain the correct social distancing guidelines. In classrooms with movable seats/desks, some seats/desks may be removed and/or blocked. Students and instructors should not move desks or seats from their locations.

Signs throughout the CU Denver campus will alert students, faculty, and staff about safety measures.

Welcome Back—Here or There

For anyone in need of a mask or instructions, the campus will have Student Ambassadors welcoming all students, staff, and faculty entering CU Denver buildings. They will help answer questions about stairway and elevator occupancy, designated entry and exit points, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other health-related concerns. 

Before people return to campus, they must take an online training,“COVID-19 Return to Campus – CU Denver,” about COVID-19 safety measures. We are committed to keeping the CU Denver community as safe as possible by following the safety recommendations of state and national health and epidemiology experts. Learn more about CU Denver’s health and safety protocols for this fall.

However you return to class—in person, online, or both—keep in mind that a CU Denver college degree is a valuable investment in your future. Students will get the same quality curriculum from the same experienced instructors, regardless of the course format or campus safety protocols.