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Classes start at UVM with mix of in-person and remote learning

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 8:33 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2020 at 6:06 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Monday was the first day of classes at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

So how do students and faculty feel about the new normal? They said it will be an adjustment.

I talked with one professor Monday who has four classes. She said it was very different teaching half of her students in the classroom and the other half through a computer screen.

Undergraduate students have the option of either doing asynchronous learning-- a mix of in-person and remote learning-- or synchronous learning, which is all remote.

There’s no single option for graduate students since most of them have the flexibility to take some or all of their fall courses remotely, depending on the program.

One of the benefits is students and staffers can use technology to enhance the in-person experience and reach a wider audience.

UVM Business Professor Joanne Pencak says she thinks there will be benefits and challenges.

“The students-- how can people who are sitting in the room interact with the people who are not in the room? And I wouldn’t call it a negative. More like a challenge. And it’s just a way of thinking about things a little differently. One of the things I could do is have all of my students bring laptops, right? And interact. So that way, they’ll see what the students are seeing at home, as well,” Pencak said.

The university says there will be activities, programming and learning community connections to make sure students feel included this semester whether they’re on campus or at home.

UVM is reporting no students tested positive in the latest round of testing, although there were five positive cases in the pre-arrival results from earlier this month.

Related stories:

UVM COVID testing ramps up as students move in

Health officials say strict COVID testing regimen for college students sets Vermont apart

UVM move-in day looks very different this year

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