At least 15 undergraduate courses should include in-person components


The Registrar’s Course Offerings site is now updated with locations for some undergraduate and graduate courses that are currently slated to include an in-person component.

Fifteen undergraduate courses and seven ROTC courses are currently expected to include an in-person component, university deputy spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told the Daily Princetonian on Monday. However, Hotchkiss added that those numbers are “subject to change” as faculty members finalize their teaching plans for the spring semester.

As of Tuesday morning, there are 19 undergraduate courses and 18 graduate courses with locations listed on the Course Offerings page. Courses vary from MAE 332: Aircraft Design to CLA 203: What is a Classic ?, and many are hosted at Robertson Hall, Friend Center or McCosh Hall. Most are small seminars, although one – MAE 222: Fluid Mechanics – has 51 students enrolled.

The AMS 240: Introduction to American Popular Culture course, which prioritizes registration for international students “who must register for an in-person course to maintain their student status on campus,” will also have an online component. anybody. The Registrar’s site does not currently list a classroom location for this course.

The 19 undergraduate courses represent approximately two percent of the 1,109 undergraduate courses currently listed by the Registrar. Graduate courses were slightly more likely to have in-person components, with just over four percent of the 435 graduate courses listed having physical locations.

The decision to hold certain components of the course in person or to continue teaching entirely remotely is at the discretion of the faculty members for their respective courses. One factor to consider is the fact that not all of the students who were invited to be on campus this spring will be living on or near the campus.

“Professors were given the option of teaching virtually or in a hybrid format for the spring semester,” Hotchkiss wrote. “As some, but not all, students will be on campus, any in-person course will need to be offered in a hybrid format to reach students who may be learning from elsewhere. The University will provide educational and technical support to any faculty interested in the hybrid option.

ARC 303: Wall Street and Silicon Valley – Place in the American Economy, taught by architecture professor Aaron Shkuda, is one such course that will include in-person elements.

Reflecting on redesigning the course for a hybrid format, Shkuda explained that he had to take into account the different levels of students’ familiarity with the skills intrinsic to the course.

“My class is an architecture and urban studies seminar, but given the title” Wall Street and Silicon Valley “, I have a large number of COS majors, ORFE Majors, much more than in the rest of my courses. “Shkuda said. “So I cannot assume that everyone has the same familiarity with careful reading of a work on architectural theory. Or … looking at data and creating visualizations or maps from it. So I’m already thinking … about how I could vary the elements of the course to take advantage of each other’s skills and backgrounds.

When planning the hybrid format of the course, Shkuda took into account the layout of the room and the number of students – assuming they would all be on campus – taking the course.

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“My seminar has about 11 people, and I think right now we’re in a very large conference room, so I guess there is enough room for us to potentially spread out, take in some space. social distancing in the conference room and having a discussion ”Shkuda explained.

The McGraw Center Faculty FAQ states that professors teaching hybrid classes should commit to “maintain [the classroom] like a safe environment ”by reminding students of social distancing protocols, especially that students should stay eight feet from each other when seated.

Normally, Shkuda’s class would take trips to Trenton, New Brunswick, or Newark to explore different works of architecture. However, that term travel is out of the question.

Shkuda also reflects on how he designs his course, given his hybrid nature. He explained that everyone will be wearing masks and he is considering using microphones to make sure students’ voices are audible through their masks. To accommodate the hybrid format, students present in person will keep Zoom open in front of them for the benefit of their distant classmates.

Shkuda also said that there are some activities that are best suited to be performed from each student’s living space, hence the reason the hybrid model is best suited for their classroom.

“I have already used this moment to vary my teaching,” added Shkuda. “Things like watching lectures, visiting guests who might be coming from off campus and zooming in on the classroom, or conducting mapping projects or research using digital archives or data visualizations.” – I don’t think there is a huge benefit to doing this while everyone else has the same room, especially since it will always be safer to do in our own living spaces.

Before he can realize these different teaching methods, however, Shkuda must first determine which of his students will be on campus this spring.

“I think it’s pretty straightforward to just ask them,” Shkuda said. “We could have a Zoom meeting before class to discuss how we’re actually going to have class. “

While a vaccine gives hope for a return to normal circumstances, Shkuda stressed that even the most optimistic timetable for vaccine distribution “will probably still bring us to the end of the semester.”

The realities of blended education are not lost on students. FRS 160: Freedom of Expression in Law, Ethics and Politics – the first year seminar that President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 will teach – will be held in person at Robertson Hall. At present, the course is at its maximum capacity with 12 students enrolled.

Students who took the course expressed their reactions and concerns with the class being in person.

“I was excited because we haven’t had any in-person classes so far, and this will be my first in-person college class,” said Shrey Addagatla ’24. Regarding the prospect of attending a class in person, Addagatla described herself as “very happy [and] a little nervous just because of COVID security. “

For some, having an in-person class is reminiscent of the days before the COVID-19 pandemic and is often seen as synonymous with the conventional college experience.

“I just wanted to have a class in person in the first place. I just want to feel like I’m back to school, ”said Antek Hasiura ’24.

“I think it’s going to be good to see people face to face,” added Brian Li ’24.

However, the blended education plan raises larger questions and concerns in the minds of students: primarily, how will in-person and distance students collaborate, and how the variety of course formats will accommodate. .

For the spring semester, Li said, “You have the university in two places. “

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