Student Success > Success Strategies > Guide to 2020-2021 Classes
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in profound ways, including the ways in which we are able to gather as a learning community. DePaul considers the safety of its students, faculty, and staff an absolute priority; we are committed to following approaches based on sound science and guidelines from national and local health authorities. As a result, classes in 2020-2021 will be offered in multiple modalities, with both on campus and online offerings. Face-to-face classes offered on campus may adopt innovative approaches to ensure that we follow guidelines for social distancing. Different online modalities will combine asynchronous and synchronous opportunities for engaging with course content, your professors, and your fellow students. As you are building your schedule for the upcoming terms, please learn about the spectrum of available modalities. Not every class will be available in every modality, but be aware of the options and of how to identify them in Campus Connect at registration time.
Here’s how to see the delivery options for any given class:
In Campus Connect, select the Manage Classes tile, and then Class Search and Enroll. Now, you can search for classes of interest to you, as usual. The first page of results lists the essential information for each class. The “Days and Times” column indicates the days and time your class will meet, if such a schedule applies. The “Room” column indicates the physical room for classes scheduled on one of our campuses, or the specific online modality for courses not offered face-to-face. Pay attention to the possibility of different “Room” assignments for different days/times for the same class.
You can find descriptions of the modes of instruction available to you below. You can also learn more about the new modes of instruction by watching this short video.
Some on-campus classes will proceed as usual, with a group of students meeting together according to a specified schedule; these classes are likely to be small and will meet in rooms that will allow for adequate social distancing.
Other on-campus classes will be taught in classrooms with new capabilities that allow students to connect synchronously from home or other locations, via Zoom. These classes will be structured as hybrid classes in which students will attend on-campus for half the time and on Zoom for the other half. When you do a Class Search, you will easily recognize these classes by matching information in the “Days and Times” column with the information in the “Room” column. A physical room is listed in the “Room” column for the “Days and Times” when you are expected to be on-campus; “Online: Sync-Classroom Link” is listed for the “Days and Times” when you are expected to be on Zoom.
DePaul has offered quality online learning for over a decade. Instructors attend an award winning professional development program, and receive exceptional support from instructional designers and technology specialists in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Until recently, the vast majority of online classes have been asynchronous; that is, all course content is housed on D2L, with careful attention to the design and sequencing of course content and assignments. Asynchronous classes give you the maximum flexibility in scheduling, as all course content is available to you 24/7.
Now additional online options are available. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, technology tools for remote synchronous meetings became ubiquitous. Across the globe, tools like Zoom have enabled people to stay in contact and learn together. DePaul is now incorporating these tools into our offerings in order to allow for more direct interaction and help you further optimize your schedule.
Here are all the online modalities available to you:
Online: AsyncIf you have taken an online class at DePaul in previous years you may already be familiar with this first modality. These classes do not meet at a specific time on specific days. An Online Async class is designed in D2L, where you find content, assignments, schedules, and structured opportunities for you to interact with your classmates, asynchronously.
Online: SyncThese classes take place at a specific time on a specific day, with the instructor and all the students meeting online using a synchronous meeting tool like Zoom. Before selecting this option, please carefully consider your ability to actively participate in video and audio with a reliable internet connection.
Online: HybridThese classes are a combination of asynchronous and synchronous online work. An online hybrid class is designed in D2L, where you find content, assignments, and schedules. In addition, the class meets synchronously on-line, on specified dates at the assigned time, using a synchronous meeting tool like Zoom. Though the class has assigned time(s) and day(s) of the week, it typically meets synchronously only some of the time. The class notes on the Enrollment Information tab of the Class Information screen may contain further details on the required/planned meetings.
Online: Sync-Classroom LinkAn Online: Sync-Classroom Link class takes place at a specific time on a specific day, linked to a class that takes place at the same time on campus. Students in these classes connect via Zoom with the live classroom and the instructor, so everyone can interact synchronously. Before selecting this option, please carefully consider your ability to actively participate in video and audio with a reliable internet connection.
Online: Async (Sync-Option)An Online: Async (Sync-Option) class is designed in D2L, where you find content, assignments, schedules, and structured opportunities for you to interact with your classmates, asynchronously. In addition, this class is paired with a class that takes place at a specific time on a specific day, on campus or on Zoom. Students in these classes may connect with the live classroom and instructor via Zoom, if and when they are available, but they are not required to do so. Typically, students in an Online:Sync-Option class will have access to the recordings of the paired live classroom.