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Academics, Learning and Classrooms

As we begin the fall semester, we are making changes designed to enhance learning opportunities and promote healthy lifestyles.

AS OF JULY 24, 2020

Our faculty are committed to the well-being of our students, and they have continued to adapt and offer enhanced and alternate content delivery when needed. They have provided one-on-one interactions with students, and have been a constant resource throughout this pandemic. For those who know Gardner-Webb, they realize that is always the case for our faculty. They are always there for our students.

Will the class sizes be different this fall? If so, how? How will physical distancing be implemented into the academic space (and course schedule)? Will classes adopt hybrid-teaching formats or staggered scheduling to assist with physical distancing? 

Classroom capacities are reduced to approximately half of regular occupancy to allow for physical distancing in all classrooms. The University is also shifting some classes to different time slots in order to maximize the availability of our largest spaces. A small number of classes may need to use virtual delivery and seat only a portion of the class at each meeting time.

A number of hybrid courses are offered every semester at Gardner-Webb, and this fall additional courses could be added to implement this learning platform.

Will there be any expanded online class options? 

Yes, more courses will be available online for our traditional undergraduates than in a typical semester. Students should check with the Student Success Center and speak with an academic advisor for more information.

Will seated classes be staggered (with students alternating days) to assist with physical distancing? 

The University is prepared to implement staggered/alternating meeting times for classes if needed to assist with physical distancing.

If my internships or applied learning assessments need modifications from off-site coordinators, what should I do? 

Contact your internship supervisor or the dean/chair of the school or department offering the internship or learning experience.

Are face coverings required in classroom/lab settings? 

Face coverings are mandatory indoors on the Gardner-Webb campus, including when seated in classrooms and during labs. Face coverings are to remain on in classrooms and labs, even if 6 feet of distance can be maintained. In addition, even though all persons will be wearing face coverings in classrooms and labs, they should stay at least six-feet apart in whenever possible.

Faculty members may refuse entry or temporarily remove from class students who fail or refuse to follow these simple rules. When violations occur, the faculty member should notify the Office of the Dean of Students and work with them to secure compliance or determine whether the student is entitled to refrain from wearing a face covering. There are certain circumstances where face coverings are not required, such as for documented medical reasons. In outdoor areas, everyone is strongly encouraged to wear face coverings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Disposable face coverings may be obtained from the following locations: University Police, Campus Shop (Tucker Student Center), Student Development Office (Tucker Student Center), College of Health Sciences (front office).

Are sanitation stations available in classrooms? 

The University will provide disinfectant solutions for all classrooms. Hand sanitizer stations will also be located in common entrance and exit points of facilities.

If a faculty member testing positive for COVID-19 has to be quarantined, how will that impact the students’ learning engagement? 

Contingency plans will vary based on multiple factors. In general, if a faculty member cannot be present, a class may be conducted using online technology or a substitute instructor may lead the class.

If at any time during the fall semester, face-to-face classes need to be transitioned to an exclusively online environment, how will students, faculty and staff be notified?

By email, the website and other established outreach protocols.

If a student needs to meet directly with a faculty member, what is the best way to do that? 

Under current guidelines, student meetings with faculty are still available in person. If the faculty member’s office is too small to accommodate physical distancing, face coverings should be worn, or a different meeting location can be agreed upon. Most faculty are also open to videoconference or telephone meetings. The student should contact the faculty member and inquire about the different possibilities for a meeting.

Will there be dedicated entrances and exits for buildings (where possible)? 

Not at this time. Most University buildings provide plenty of physical distancing options for the entry and exit of facilities.

Should face coverings be used when in the restrooms? 

Yes, everyone should wear a face covering inside campus buildings.