Campus prepares for fall 2020 hybrid learning

Oakland University became the first university in Michigan to announce a change to fall semester learning on Friday, April 24.

Faculty and students will all be required to wear protective masks during instruction and as much square footage as possible will be used to maintain social distancing.

Bridge was the first publication to report on hybrid learning after President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz announced the change in an email.

“As we build this plan, let’s shoot for the stars knowing that our best possible outcome may be to land on the moon,” Pescovitz said in her email.

The official announcement read, “As we prepare for the fall semester, we are planning for a hybrid approach that includes both face-to-face and remote instruction.”

The OU Coronavirus Response Team has deemed the COVID-19 virus a threat that will affect schools into the 2020 fall semester. Both summer semesters will remain completely online.

The team is still working on sorting out details for the fall semester as it pertains to “infection prevention and control, academic affairs, communications, human resources, large events, campus operations, student affairs and housing and university sponsored travel.”

The hybrid learning model is one that demonstrates social distancing. The response team described their methodology as “a combination of viral and serology testing, contact tracing and social distancing to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment.”

In-person labs will take place, but social distancing rules of limiting human contact remain.

“We might have three students in a large lab where social distancing is possible, and where they can wear masks and can be tested before they come in,” Pescovitz said, according to Bridge.

Other major measures that will be taken are moving classes to larger locations to increase distance, holding sporting events without fans, requiring face masks on campus and having frequent testing for students and faculty.

These plans are not set in stone with the ever-changing developments that the COVID-19 pandemic brings.