Brigham Young University will be continuing remote learning through the spring term, following an announcement Monday that a student enrolled in classes on campus during the winter semester tested positive for COVID-19.
Courses for the spring term will follow the format that was adopted for the end of winter’s semester, including that classes will be delivered remotely primarily via Zoom, Learning Suite and Canvas.
In instances where a lab or performance cannot be completed remotely, faculty will work with the deans over their colleges to find an innovative solution. BYU officials are not planning to increase the number of courses offered during the spring semester, however sections or courses may still be removed due to a lack of enrolled students.
According to the statement released Tuesday, faculty are still encouraged to deliver live classes during the originally scheduled time instead of re-recording their lectures.
University-related internships are suspended indefinitely, although on-campus internships and other experience that can be adapted to a digital format are exempt from the suspension. On-campus jobs, however, are still available, with most of the positions including physical facility management, such as building maintenance and grounds.
On-campus housing will remain available for students who are in need of a place to live, but the university is encouraging students enrolled in the spring to return or remain at home as students will be able to complete the term without being physically present.
While some on-campus dining options will remain open to serve students, dine-in operations will remain closed. Other dining locations, including Legends Grille, MOA Café, Blue Line Deli and Harvey’s Cafe, will be closed for the spring semester.
Support services, such as Multicultural Student Services, international Student and Scholar Services, and the University Accessibility Center, will remain open and remotely available. The university’s counseling and psychological services also will continue its telehealth services.
In an effort to reduce student stress, BYU released a statement from Shane Reese, the university’s vice president of academics, announcing that students will be able to choose which grading system they would like to be evaluated with.
At the end of the semester, faculty will be asked to submit a letter grade for each student and each course, which is the standard grade submission protocol. However, for this semester only, students will be able to choose whether they would like to maintain the standard grade given or move to a pass-fail system for each specific course.
In accordance with university policy, a passing grade is considered an A-C while a failing grade is considered a D or F. Pass and fail grade does not affect grade point averages, rather a passing grade constitutes a completed academic credit.
Furthermore, according to the statement, a failing grade will not adversely affect students’ GPA for this semester only, although students who receive a “fail” will not receive credit for that specific course.
“We understand that there will be additional questions,” the statement said. “Details about deadlines, logistics, etc., are forthcoming. Thanks for your patience as we work to address those questions. We hope this provides you with good options and that it helps reduce some of the stress you may be feeling.”
Although the university anticipates remote learning will continue through the end of the spring term, grading for that term is expected to follow standard grading protocol.