classes

Ethical challenges loom over decisions to resume in-person college classes

<span class="caption">It's hard to social distance on campus.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Colleges-Mental-Health/d3bf2a1fee084426b1a81853b29284e5/1/0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AP Photo/Rick Bowmer">AP Photo/Rick Bowmer</a></span>
It’s hard to social distance on campus. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

By early July, about 80% of U.S. campuses were planning to resume at least some in-person instruction, even as a growing numbers of faculty are voicing concerns about safety.

As Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, argues, “Because we do not yet have the ability to bring students and staff back to campus while keeping them safe and healthy, we simply cannot return to business as usual.” Sorrell says that bringing students back in this context “constitutes an abdication of our moral responsibility as leaders.”

But this isn’t just about the responsibilities of individual campuses and university leaders to do what’s right. As a scholar of ethics, I believe it is unwise and unethical for government to leave schools largely on their own to navigate in deciding whether and how to open their campuses. The health risks are too

Read More

USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes

USC students are being asked to stay home and continue their education online in the fall amid the coronavirus crisis. <span class="copyright">(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)</span>
USC students are being asked to stay home and continue their education online in the fall amid the coronavirus crisis. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Amid the alarming surge in coronavirus spread, USC announced it will no longer bring all undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester and will move to mainly online classes, reversing an earlier decision to welcome students back for a hybrid model.

The decision, announced by Provost Charles Zukoski late Wednesday night, came the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced tougher restrictions on indoor activities. Zukoski recommended that students not return to campus for the semester and instead continue their education online.

“The once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives — the way we interact, work, and socialize — and with each new permutation of the pandemic, we must find ways to thrive,” Zukoski wrote.

“Given the continuing safety restrictions and

Read More

Just 8% of colleges are keeping classes online this fall, but more may join them as coronavirus outbreaks surge. Here’s the list so far.

A graduate gets ready to pose for a picture at the empty campus of San Diego State University, after the California State University system announced the fall 2020 semester will be online, May 13, 2020.
A graduate gets ready to pose for a picture at the empty campus of San Diego State University, after the California State University system announced the fall 2020 semester will be online, May 13, 2020.

Mike Blake/Reuters

After a semester of remote courses and online graduations, some colleges and universities are deciding not to return for in-person classes this fall.

California State University, the largest four-year public university system in the US, has cancelled in-person classes for the fall semester at all 23 of its campuses. Instead, classes will take place almost exclusively online, Chancellor Timothy White announced in May.

“Our university, when open without restrictions and fully in person… is a place where over 500,000 people come together in close and vibrant proximity,” White said at the meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That approach sadly just isn’t in the cards now.”

Six of Harvard’s graduate and professional

Read More

Duke plans mass COVID-19 testing and mix of in-person and online classes this fall

Duke University is planning to bring students, faculty and staff back to campus in August with new safety precautions, including mass COVID-19 testing, adjusted classroom layouts and revised housing options in dorms and hotels.

The school also announced the plan for its student-athletes to return to campus, beginning with football players on July 12.

The news comes as state health officials say they are concerned about the recent increase in COVID-19 cases among younger adults.

“While the trends we see today are concerning,” Duke president Vince Price said in a statement, “we believe that the many safety precautions we are putting in place will allow us to responsibly continue along the path towards opening Duke’s fall 2020 semester on campus in August. We ask all members of the Duke community — students, parents, faculty and staff — to recognize and accept that we may need to change our plans based

Read More

This mom lost 75 pounds by taking a hip-hop step aerobics classes

For most of her life, Jewel Hall has struggled with her weight.

But as her young daughter began facing the same issues, Hall decided to make a change, adopting a healthier lifestyle that 11-year-old Tiffany could look up to.

“I don’t live in the best of neighborhoods and I’ve been fat all my life,” Hall, who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, told TODAY. “My daughter is on the heavier side as well … I want to show her there are other positive things than what’s around us in our neighborhood. And I don’t want her to ever feel uncomfortable like I did.”

Since December 2018, 29-year-old Jewel Hall has lost 75 pounds through a cardio exercise program called Xtreme Hip-Hop with Phil. (Jewel Hall)
Since December 2018, 29-year-old Jewel Hall has lost 75 pounds through a cardio exercise program called Xtreme Hip-Hop with Phil. (Jewel Hall)

With the help of a hip-hop beat and a step aerobics platform, Hall has lost 75 pounds since December 2018. The 29-year-old single mother, who works at

Read More

Parents and kids hate online classes. Going back to school likely will include more of it.

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying, ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

Read More

In-person classes, online learning or a mix? Reopening schools will bring new struggles

With the next academic year less than three months away, and no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, school districts face a daunting decision: Reopen the schools they shuttered, or continue to teach students remotely?

Educators across the United States are weighing their options, taking into account the quality of the education they can offer, the need for children to socialize and keeping safety in mind above all else.

So far, a hybrid model that combines some in-person learning and some remote learning has emerged as the most popular proposal for the fall, according to Dan Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, an advocacy organization for the 14,000 superintendents in the U.S.

That could mean a school has as little as 25 percent of its normal capacity in the building at once, which would give students more space for social distancing in their classrooms and

Read More

Online Summer Classes Discounted for Coronavirus

Keep learning from home this summer.

Online classes can teach learners of any age new skills, aid in a career transition or offer an accessible way to explore a new topic. This summer, some online platforms — including those that provide massive open online courses, or MOOCs — are offering discounts to users because of the coronavirus pandemic. Even as states begin to lift stay-at-home orders, many families will remain close to home this summer and millions of Americans are still unemployed or facing reduced hours at work. Consider browsing the online classes on these platforms this summer to make use of any free time and pick up some new skills or credentials.

Coursera

Since June 1, Coursera, an online learning platform, has offered free access to more than 3,800 courses and numerous guided projects, specializations and certificates for current undergraduate or graduate students and recent graduates. Students must enroll

Read More

I Finally Got Into Yoga, and I Have Online Classes to Thank

The last couple of months have taught a lot of us that working out at home can actually be fun and effective. As someone who used to be only motivated when I was in a fitness studio class, feeding off the energy of the instructor and the other people working out alongside me, I’ve changed my mind about at-home exercise.

Now, I’ve gotten into a routine, and I’m pretty sure I work out a lot more than I used to because it’s so convenient to just turn on my laptop and stream a workout. And because I’m working out solo, I’ve been feeling more adventurous to try new types of workouts. I’ve always stuck to indoor cycling and barre classes because I felt pretty competent with them and never really tried anything else because I was afraid of making a fool out of myself in class. But since I have

Read More

UCLA to reopen with mainly online classes because of the coronavirus, officials say

A student walks in the courtyard in front of Royce Hall at the UCLA campus in Westwood. <span class="copyright">(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)</span>
A student walks in the courtyard in front of Royce Hall at the UCLA campus in Westwood. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The vast majority of classes at UCLA this fall will be virtual, with only a small percentage offered on campus, the university announced Monday.

Officials announced the plan in a letter to the community as each university in the 10-campus UC system is likewise preparing to release its own reopening plans. At UCLA, only about 15% to 20% of courses would probably be offered on campus or in a hybrid format, including some that involve laboratory work, performing arts and clinical health fields.

In addition, officials said they will be taking steps to make on-campus housing less dense by prioritizing housing offers based on factors such as financial need and how far away a student’s primary residence is from the Westwood university. Officials said they will also

Read More