Wright State to continue hybrid instructions in spring

Wright State University’s spring instruction model will mirror this semester’s, although there could be a slight difference when classes start in January.

In addition, the school has started working on summer and fall 2021 schedules.

Meanwhile, the university has applied to be a COVID-19 vaccination site, officials said.

The university will continue its hybrid model that combines in-person, remote and flexibleinstruction in the spring, interim Provost Douglas Leaman told the board of trustees on Thursday. As has been the case this fall, about 70% of the instruction will be remote, he said.

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However, school officials are mulling switching to 100% remote learning the first week or two of the spring semester, Leaman said, to give students time to quarantine, especially after possibly attending family or other holiday events that could spread the coronavirus.

Campus leaders will make a final decision on the plan in the coming days, he said.

Some institutions have cancelled spring break or spread the days out over the semester. But Wright State will not change its schedule, Leaman said, citing that only about 30% of classes will be in-person and the relatively low number of COVID-19 infections this fall.

“We don’t have students that head to Cancun for spring break,” he said. “We have students that go to work over spring break. If they are able to follow the rules, I feel very strongly that spring break is really necessary where it is at so that everybody can catch their breath and prepare for the remainder of the semester.”

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The university has started planning for summer and fall 2021 classes, and instruction models for those semesters will not mirror this fall and upcoming spring sessions. The delivery schedule will continue to be flexible, however, the goal is for “a greater variety of in-person, hybrid and delivery-mode optional courses.” About 30% of classes this fall has been in-person.

“We would like fall to represent a ‘post-pandemic’ schedule that begins our transition toward a new normal that will be more flexible in terms of course delivery,” Leaman said, “but that also is engaging to students, particularly those that do not respond well to fully remote education.”

Although they’re aiming for more in-person instructions, school officials said they will be prepared to pivot to remote learning if necessary.

Schedules aside, Leaman announced to the trustees that Wright State Physicians, which is affiliated with Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, will be a coronavirus vaccination site when the vaccines become available. The university also applied to be a vaccination site, possibly working in collaboration with Wright State Physicians. The school will get additional information when they meet with Greene County health officials today.

In other news, the university’s fall COVID-19 pilot testing was successful, and school officials plan to keep it in place when classes resume in spring. In all, there were 377 tests ordered, and 321 were fulfilled, meaning 15% no-show. Of the 321 that tested, five ― 1.6% ― were positive.

It’s encouraging that there was not an outbreak among students or hotspots on campus, Leaman said. That’s because the students and employees were diligent about following the university’s safety protocol, he said.

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