As the world navigates the coronavirus pandemic, all of us are facing unprecedented challenges and new realities. Armed with preparedness, quick-thinking and creativity, and with the health and safety of our campus community (and their families) as our top priority. The University of Michigan-Dearborn is committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the academic excellence that has come to be expected at University of Michigan-Dearborn, regardless of the method of course delivery.  

How was the decision made regarding the delivery of fall 2020 classes?

The university used the latest science, advice and direction by University of Michigan public health officials and local, state and national healthcare professionals and government leaders to inform its decision on fall 2020 teaching and campus life plans. 

Our region and state have made significant progress in helping to control the spread of COVID-19, but UM-Dearborn is located in the center of our state’s hardest hit area. For this reason we are taking extra precautions to provide a healthy and safe learning and teaching environment for our community.

The fall 2020 semester will be comprised of a hybrid educational experience. 

Classes will be taught remotely only if an excellent quality education can be delivered in this format.

Some classes will require scheduled times for students to gather, either virtually or in-person on campus. Classes, such as labs, senior design and other courses that require a high-level of student interaction or special equipment, will meet in-person on campus through November 21, employing all appropriate and relevant public health precautions to keep students, faculty and staff safe.

What options were considered for fall 2020 instruction delivery?

Guided by the recommendations of the State of Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health professionals and our University of Michigan colleagues, UM-Dearborn leadership planned for various teaching scenarios for the fall term. Each scenario would include, as needed, social distancing measures and other precautionary requirements to promote a safe teaching, working and learning environment for students, faculty and staff. Each scenario is being designed to allow for a quick pivot — either to more on-campus or more remote teaching — based on the nature of the pandemic.

Several scenarios, that could be implemented based on the latest science and public health guidance, were considered. These include:

  • On-campus instruction for courses that are most effectively and optimally taught on-campus, including labs, senior design sections, and the like. 
  • A remote-and-campus hybrid modality, in which much course content would be delivered remotely and asynchronously with students brought to campus periodically (e.g., once a week) for engaged/experiential learning activities. 
  • A fully remote hybrid modality, with both synchronous (requiring days and times) and asynchronous online components. An example would be a course that makes all the content available online, but “meets” on Zoom once a week for active learning purposes. 
  • Remote instruction, including courses originally scheduled online for fall 2020, and courses which have been designed for the online modality with an expectation of asynchronous instruction. 
How will academic quality be maintained in remote classes during the fall 2020 semester?

The health and safety of the UM-Dearborn campus community, students, faculty, staff and their families, remain our top priority. The university is committed to ensuring that we provide the academic excellence that has come to be expected at University of Michigan-Dearborn, regardless of the method of course delivery. 

There is no doubt that personal interaction provides enormous added value, not least in encouraging diverse perspectives and nurturing peer-to-peer learning. This is why, even with remote delivery, finding ways to engage students, and have them engage with each other, is so important. Aspects of social engagement, equity and inclusion and other perspectives of interaction and debate will continue to be part of our educational mission. 

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, University of Michigan-Dearborn has sought to support faculty, especially those with less remote teaching experience, to make the transition to robust and effective online teaching. The university’s Hub for Teaching and Learning and college-based ‘Digital Education Ambassadors’, will continue to offer this training and guidance as we move towards the start of the Fall 2020 semester.


When will a decision be made regarding the winter 2021 semester?

Plans for the winter 2021 semester will be shared with the campus community by October 1, 2020. 

What are the plans for December Commencement?

Additional information regarding December Commencement, currently scheduled for Saturday, December 19, will be communicated at a later date. The date and format of the ceremony are subject to change. 

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