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IU releases learning modes for fall classes on iGPS



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Learning modes for each fall course section will be updated on iGPS starting today, according to multiple IU emails sent to students. The learning mode will indicate if a class will be in-person, online or a mix of both.

The eight different learning modes are combinations of meeting in person, having class over Zoom, frequently using activities such as Canvas discussions and other teaching elements.

There are three categories that include some in-person time: “In person,” “Hybrid: on campus and online” and “76-99% online interactive.” Three categories are completely online: “Distance synchronous video,” “100% online all” and “Hybrid: distance video and online.” The last two are independent study courses or internships, whose learning modes change case by case: “Independent/directed study” and “Internship/practicum.”

At IU-Bloomington, a little under 40% of course sections this fall will be in the completely online category, according to IU spokesperson Chuck Carney. Carney said this will reduce classroom instruction 60-70% to comply with public health guidelines.

Graphic by Carson TerBush

Learning modes have not yet been updated on all students’ personal schedules. Many personal schedules say “web-based class” for various courses. Students can look up their course and section on iGPS to see a more specific description of how courses will be taught.

Learning modes are still processing and aren’t yet visible on students’ individual schedules, according to Carney. He said by tomorrow, students will be able to see the learning modes of all their courses on one page in iGPS.

According to Chris Foley, director of the office of online education for all IU campuses, the decisions were made on a course-by-course basis, taking into consideration the type of course, preference of the instructor, public health guidelines and how difficult it would be to change the course to online, as well as other factors. 

Foley said changing courses from in person to a more online-based structure requires a lot of reevaluation and preparation by instructors, and sometimes courses have to be completely redeveloped. 

“Usually to develop a course, we would probably expect a minimum of a semester of time for the faculty members to really get up and running and to feel comfortable,” Foley said. 

Despite the lack of time to prepare for the fall, Foley said IU faculty have already worked with much less in the recent spring and summer semesters. Foley said in the spring, approximately 14,000 course sections across all IU campuses pivoted from in-person to online in two and a half weeks, and around 3,000 summer courses were converted to online in about six weeks.

“We’re coming into this fall semester with a lot more preparation,” Foley said. “Pretty much all of our faculty now have gotten their feet wet in an online environment, and they’ve had time to wrap their head around how to adapt their class into the online space. They are familiar with the tools and how this works and what students are going to experience.”

CORRECTION: A previous version gave the wrong percentage of completely online classes. The IDS regrets this error.

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