Getting ready for the spring 2021 semester

November 05, 2020

SFU will offer most courses remotely during the spring 2021 semester and has carefully approved some in-person portions of courses so that students, faculty and staff can continue to learn and work safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In-person instruction will be for courses that require research and experiential learning, and some graduate-level courses, which tend to be smaller in size.  

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The decision, announced Thursday by Jonathan Driver, vice-president, academic, and provost, pro tem, and Wade Parkhouse, vice-provost and associate vice-president, academic, was guided by the latest COVID-19 information from public health officials.

“We’re focused on making sure that remote learning and teaching provides a high-quality experience, and that students who expect to graduate in the 2020/2021 academic year are able to meet their degree requirements,” Driver says.

Staying safe in person

When deciding on which courses would offer in-person learning, the university looked at the available classroom capacity.

Because of physical-distancing requirements, only about half of the university’s classrooms will be used and those will operate at 20 per cent capacity.

Each classroom will be used only once a day to allow for proper cleaning and instructors will have to complete a detailed safety plan before they will be approved for in-person teaching.

Ensuring a high-quality experience for students

At the same time, SFU is continually enhancing remote learning support for students and instructors and is looking at ways to streamline academic requirements so that students can progress through programs more easily and so that students who expect to graduate in the coming academic year are able to meet their requirements.

Student supports and services will continue to be delivered remotely, with some services offered in person, subject to health and safety guidelines.