‘Last Minute Pivot’ for Online Learning Irritates U of C Students Union
The president of the Students’ Union of the University of Calgary said the decision to move some courses online a few weeks before the start of fall classes was made without proper consultation, and as a result, complaints from students are irrelevant.
“The student union was not consulted at all by the university before this decision,” said Nicole Schmidt. Alberta @ noon Wednesday.
“The number of student complaints is unprecedented.
The University of Calgary said 10 percent of course elements (lectures, labs, seminars or tutorials) moved online in August, and 80 percent of students learn either fully in person or partially in person.
Schmidt feels the handwriting was on the wall and the school didn’t have to wait until the last minute.
“The students have been busy planning their schedules and their lives for the fall semester. They signed up for classes in good faith with the expectation that the university would follow the originally planned delivery format, but instead we saw the university pull the rug out from under students with less than two weeks to go. classes begin.”
The university had known since March that classes would return to campus in the fall and be offered in person, Schmidt said.
“It is simply disappointing that the university has offered flexibility to faculty and not to students.”
The decision is not taken lightly, according to the school
The school declined an interview but made a statement on its decision to CBC News.
“The University of Calgary’s top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The environment continues to change rapidly,” the statement said.
“The pandemic has forced many post-secondary institutions, including U of C, to make difficult decisions in a short period of time in order to keep our campus safe for students, faculty and staff. These are not decisions we take lightly. “
MacEwan doesn’t do last-minute pivot, provost says
The move, however, left some people dry, said the president and academic vice-president of MacEwan University in Edmonton.
“There is no last minute pivot,” Craig Monk said of his school versus the University of Calgary.
“While instructors have the flexibility to increase the online component when conditions permit, two-thirds of our programming has always been designed to combine an online and face-to-face experience. “
Monk says MacEwan was sensitive to a moving target.
Eighteen months ago, the school had switched entirely to online delivery as the pandemic roared. Six months later, 10 to 20 percent of the programs had returned face-to-face.
Earlier this year, MacEwan had embarked on a “meaningful face-to-face component” with two-thirds of the programming designed as a hybrid on campus and online, Monk said.
Many things have an impact on the final delivery decision.
“There’s a lot of discretion for the instructors. They’ve learned from student feedback, they’re working with department heads and deans, to see what works,” he said.