Ohio Wesleyan University will return to on-campus instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year.
OWU will deliver most instruction in-person on campus, with remote instruction available for students who meet the criteria. Most courses will be presented as a hybrid mix of face-to-face and online instruction to be easily adaptable to every situation.
Academic Calendar Changes
The University has adjusted the spring 2021 semester calendar with the following objectives in mind:
- Eliminate the traditional spring break when students are likely to leave central Ohio and return again to campus, thereby reducing the potential for larger numbers of individuals to bring the virus back to campus with them. Instead, students will have three two-day Bishop Break days -- one pair of midweek days off in March, April, and May.
- Begin classes later (on February 3) and begin them remotely to allow more time for flu season and winter to pass. In-person classes will begin February 15, with students permitted to start returning to campus January 30 at designated times. Classes will continue through May 26.
- Encourage the redesign of academic courses to incorporate remote learning methods, allowing students who need to study remotely for all of part of the semester the opportunity to do so with pedagogical intentionality in mind.
Spring Semester: In Person and Online
In spring 2021, OWU will offer classes that are fully in-person and fully online, but most will be hybrid courses that include a combination of the two.
We’ve modified classroom spaces to ensure appropriate physical distancing, and faculty are developing learning plans for each of their courses. Classes that are fully online are identified as such in Self-Service.
The format for fully online courses will vary by discipline and with the nature of the course material. Many instructors are prerecording lectures that they will post in an online learning management system (typically Blackboard). In spring 2020, students told us they value opportunities to interact with the instructor and with their fellow students. As a result, many of the online courses include scheduled course activities in which students and the instructor will be online at the same time (synchronous activities).
Hybrid courses move some traditional course elements online (e.g., videos of lectures) while in-class activities focus on providing more depth of understanding for the material. Some instructors will divide classes into smaller groups that meet fewer times per week for in-class activities. As a result, even our in-person classes will incorporate a higher proportion of digital materials.
Applying for Remote Learning
OWU believes strongly that an ideal liberal arts learning environment is one where those in the campus community are together, engaged in dialogue, research, mentorship, and enriching co-curricular experiences. The university also recognizes that some individuals have medical concerns that place them in a high-risk category should they contract the virus. Others may have deep concerns about being physically present on campus. We also recognize that some international students may experience significant challenges in returning to the U.S.
If you wish to take all of your classes remotely during spring semester, you must complete this form by December 1, 2020. (As a fully remote learner, you will be charged tuition but not room and board.)
Travel & University-Supported Activity Restrictions
The university prohibits international travel for students for the spring 2020 semester. Domestic travel should only occur when necessary. All members of the community are encouraged to carefully monitor available public health information to determine the level of risk in contracting coronavirus during travels. See IOCP's Safe Campus Opening Information.
Options for domestic study-away or internship programs, such as Wesleyan in Washington, are being decided case by case. Many internships have already been transformed into remote opportunities. Contact Darrel Albon or Lisa Ho to learn more about specific programs.
International & Global Nomad Students
We know that some international students will not be able to attend this semester in person. We are developing a set of online courses specifically designed to meet the needs of those international students who are unable to be in the United States.
Online courses will have the same learning goals and will require the same time investment from students as our face-to-face courses. They will be taught by our faculty members, who will uphold our standards for a quality educational experience. As a result, students will be able to earn the same credit for courses regardless of whether the delivery mode is fully online, fully face-to-face, or a hybrid mix of the two. Please watch for further communication sent to your OWU email address about course options for international students.