Weinberg will not permit remote or asynchronous versions of in-person classes, University says


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Weinberg will require instructors to hold in-person office hours and prohibit remote alternatives to in-person classes, NU told instructors Wednesday.

Jacob Fulton, Summer Editor

Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences will not allow instructors to create remote or asynchronous versions of in-person classes and will require in-person office hours this fall, according to an email obtained by The Daily. 

The email was sent out to instructors Wednesday by Mary Finn, Weinberg’s associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. AccessibleNU will work with faculty to address accommodation requests for remote classes and other instruction needs, but faculty should not provide other remote options, the email said. 

Additionally, the decision to record classes is up to the discretion of instructors, but those recordings should not be utilized to create an asynchronous option, the email said.

Despite the announcement, NU also sent out an email through Canvas on Thursday touting the benefits of remote office hours, dubbing the practice the University’s “next normal.” These planned practices come amid a surge of the delta variant, causing COVID-19 cases to rise across the nation and prompting a reintroduction of the University’s indoor mask mandate. 

The email from Finn also warned of potential “pains” attributed to the return to in-person instruction and removal of credit/no credit policies, and said grades over the past four quarters may not predict mastery to the same extent as other academic grading periods. 

In the coming weeks, NU is slated to host multiple return-to-campus webinars to inform community members of what an in-person fall will look like ahead of the start of the academic year. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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