The Academic Instruction Implementation Team is working with Housing and Dining Services on the best approach to first-year cohorts; more information will be available later this summer. Cohort design will vary depending on the academic experience and living environment. Our goal is to have students with common academic interests and common courses share living spaces, such as the floor of a residence hall.
We anticipate that smaller academic cohorts may vary from 25 to 150 students depending on academic interests and the courses in which students are enrolled. Smaller cohorts will exist within a larger cohort that, in most cases, will represent the residence hall.
Breaking large student networks, in which students take classes across multiple student groups, into smaller student networks taking the same group of courses can reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Academic cohorting will also help create for our first-year students the natural cohorts that tend to emerge for upperclassmen as they move into upper-division courses specific to their majors.
First-year students will take courses that promote their academic progress, including general education requirements and major requirements. They will also have an opportunity to schedule elective courses, primarily as online options, outside of their cohort.
The cohort model provides a smaller, residential college experience within a larger university setting and will allow first-year students to start off strong, complete required courses and work toward earning their degrees while staying safe on campus.
Yes. The university is committed to equitable remote options for vulnerable/at-risk populations and meeting the needs of students whose health or personal circumstances require them to learn remotely. A foundational principle of our Academic Implementation Team is ensuring the university will offer enough fully remote and/or online options that students who cannot attend courses in person can make progress toward their degrees. However, not every course will be offering remote instruction, and this might require a fully remote student to choose different classes.
Yes. Fall break will be shortened to Thursday and Friday only, with classes continuing through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. After fall break, all classes will be remote (synchronous) or online (asynchronous) through the end of the semester.
The blend of in-person, hybrid, remote and online courses that will be offered in fall 2020 will not diminish the quality and value of a degree from CU Boulder.
The main criteria for our courses remain the same whether they are taught in person, online or remotely: Our courses must involve regular and substantive instructor interaction with students. With remote and online teaching, faculty and instructors are still able to:
Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with students
Provide full and substantive assessments and regular feedback on students’ coursework
Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course
Faculty continue to incorporate into their courses best practices for teaching and learning in various teaching modalities
In addition, the Center for Teaching & Learning has partnered with Continuing Education, the Office of Information Technology and the Office of Academic Innovation to offer workshops and provide resources and individual consultations for faculty on effective, evidence-based practices for remote and online teaching.
We are also prioritizing classes for in-person delivery whose academic outcomes are difficult to achieve virtually (e.g., computer labs, performance classes, studios).
Finally, the Boulder campus is going to great lengths to modify our campus operations in a way that will allow us to safely provide on-campus experiences for our students. The Boulder campus continues to make significant investments in our COVID-19 health and safety infrastructure to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students, staff and faculty.
Degree-seeking students have the opportunity to add, drop or swap classes during the schedule adjustment period (Aug. 3–9), with access available for all students during open enrollment (starts Aug. 10).
The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) are continuing their intensive work to expand technology supports for all teaching methods. OIT is creating a website to feature the technologies available now and what will be available this fall, along with descriptions of the support available.
As a university, we recognize our responsibility to continually monitor our progress and adjust our plans as needed in response to changes in the environment and in the spread of COVID-19. Use the COVID-19 Updates site to stay on top of announcements.