Humber fall semester plans progressing as other schools announce move to online

Published On May 26, 2020 | By Alison Gallagher | News
Alison Gallagher
As post-secondary institutions announce their plans for their upcoming fall semesters, Humber College students are still waiting to hear if Humber will follow suit. Humber College North campus. (Harmanjeet Singh Gurm/Humber News)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across Canada, many colleges and universities are now making plans to transfer most of their programs to online platforms to prevent further spread of the virus on their campuses.

In the past few weeks, schools including University of Toronto, McGill University and University of Victoria have all announced their classes will mostly be offered online for their upcoming fall semesters.

McMaster University and Concordia University of Edmonton are the most recent additions to the growing list of schools moving to online delivery of courses, with both universities issuing press releases on May 25.

Some schools have gone as far as preemptively cancelling in-person gatherings for school sponsored events, such as Queen’s University moving their 2020 Homecoming celebrations online.

While many post-secondary institutions continue to make their Fall 2020 plans known, Humber College has not yet released a statement on how its upcoming fall semester will be delivered to students.

Although Humber’s plans have not been officially released, PR and Communications Manager Emily Milic assures students will not have to wait much longer.

“We are working on plans for Fall program delivery, and we look forward to sharing that information with students soon,” Milic said in an email statement to Humber News.

Guillermo Acosta, Dean of the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts, said he and other faculty members are currently working on adapting programs to online delivery should Humber decide to follow other post-secondary institutions.

Dean of the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts Guillermo Acosta assures that Humber faculty members are working hard to find the best way to deliver Fall classes to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo Courtesy of Humber College)

“We are taking a very careful look, program by program, to understand the best way to deliver programs under this scenario,” Acosta said.

“We are considering moving everything that can be delivered in a remote way to the online environment,” he said.

Acosta said faculty are using the learning outcomes of programs and their course’s as a factor in determining how to best adapt a program to an online platform.

“We are taking a comprehensive approach, in a way that we can achieve the learning outcomes and help students learn what they have to learn,” he said.

When discussing whether certain programs could be permitted on campus to use labs and other learning facilities, Acosta said Public Health’s rules on physical distancing would have to be taken into account.

“If [people] need to abide by the two metre separation space… a lab that would [normally] seat 24 people would only be able to seat six or seven,” he said.

The switch to online classes in the previous semester caused frustration among some students; a survey from the College Student Alliance found one-third of their respondents were dissatisfied with the delivery of their courses.

Although he acknowledges the sudden transition from in-person to online classes has been jarring for many, Acosta assures Humber students can still have a rewarding class experience even if their classes are held online.

“I am confident that we can provide a high quality online delivery for our courses,” he said. “It’s going to be different, but different doesn’t always mean that it’s not going to be good.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *