Spring 2021 enrollment has been open for two weeks, and students and faculty are seeing significant differences from enrollment for the fall semester.
Challenges including instances where some students were unable to take advantage of in-person offerings due to insufficient time to move between assigned classrooms and appropriate remote-class study spaces have been addressed, and a new feedback survey for both students and faculty offer opportunities to continue to learn, share and implement knowledge gleaned from the unprecedented fall semester.
“I want to congratulate our students on their resilience and maturity in the face of a very challenging term,” said Joseph McCarthy, vice provost for undergraduate studies. “Their conscientious attention to health and safety guidance, coupled with hard work and patience, are a testament to the excellent students drawn to Pitt.”
“Even if nothing changes from a COVID-19 perspective, the spring will still be substantially different from the fall for students,” said McCarthy. “And that's because they'll know what they're getting into right up front.”
Students will be better able to design their schedules based on how and when they would like to engage in each of their classes, and can work with academic advisors and mentors to do so. For the spring, students will know at the time of registration what each class’s instructional mode will be—whether it is “full cohort” in person, “rotating cohort” in-person or fully remote.
The Attending Class in Person with Flex@Pitt infographic can help students navigate the information in PeopleSoft to learn more about the operational mode of each class. “Really, the critical thing is if students need to build in time to get from a classroom where they can engage remotely, they can work with their advisors to design that into their schedule,” said McCarthy.
As Pitt continues to work to identify ways to optimize the Flex @ Pitt experience, the Office of the Provost has launched a survey for undergraduates, graduates and instructors.
“The survey focuses on key areas of both instructor and student experiences during the fall term, including exploring course delivery, communications, resources and safety protocols," said Vice Provost for Budget and Analytics Stephen Wisniewski. "The most effective way to learn and to improve in this unusual environment is by reaching out and gathering meaningful data."
“We tried to design the survey so that it was actionable and so that we can quickly address questions and make improvements,” McCarthy said. “Now that we’ve had to figure how to offer high-quality education in this framework, I want to leverage some of these learnings to continually improve the student and instructor experience. I encourage everyone to provide their feedback.”