Classroom Experience


See below for answers to the following questions:

If you have a question that is not answered below, please submit it here.


In the module system, how much time should students expect to spend on each course? 

For accreditation purposes, each course should have the same amount of instructional and study time in a module that it had in a semester. Since the module is roughly half as long, the hours per course should be roughly double what they are in a semester:

  • We are scheduling 6 hrs/wk in class (as opposed to 3)
  • Students should expect to spend 12 hrs/wk on coursework (including class prep, papers, projects, etc) outside class (as opposed to 6)

Overall, a full-time load for a student should amount to roughly a full-time job

  • In the module system, that would mean two courses in the modules at 18 hrs each (class time + coursework) = 36 hrs total

However, the balance of interactive / synchronous / in-class time vs asynchronous / self-paced / out-of-class time will necessarily be different in our Blended Learning approach than it was in our traditional semester. 

What is the right balance between in-person and online activities? Will we be in the classroom or meeting synchronously during all scheduled class times? 

It is likely that, because of social distancing requirements, if you registered for an in-person course, you will NOT all (students and faculty) be meeting in real time for those six hours per week in most cases. Your faculty member will use the total class time in different ways, while adhering to the principles listed above and safety protocols. However, students should plan to be available to attend during the class periods they register for, as class times will be used for a variety of activities.

How will students receive course materials and assignments? How will classes meet?

All courses will be on Canvas in order to streamline student engagement. Methodology, learning outcomes, and assessment measures will be clearly linked to course policies, procedures and expectations. Students will be oriented to the course’s organization and faculty expectations.

Faculty will manage class meetings in different ways to best suit their classes, but all classes will include significant interactive components to facilitate faculty-student and student-student relationships that are the hallmark of your F&M education. Such activities might include small group meetings with a faculty member or with other students, labs, discussions, training in skills or equipment, one-on-one or small group work in studios, etc.

How will classroom spaces on campus be set up to help classes physically distance?

We will use the guideline of 36 sq. ft per person to de-densify the classroom, which will result in the capacity of most classrooms being reduced by 50%. In assigning classrooms, we will use the benchmark of assigning a space with capacity for at least 50% of the course’s enrollment, enabling faculty to meet with at least half their students at one time. Courses with lower enrollments are more likely to be assigned rooms that can accommodate most or all of their students at one time.

All classrooms will be set up by facilities staff to meet the required physical distancing of the professor and students. Classroom configurations assume that the professor will remain at the front of the room at a distance of 6 feet away from student seating. Faculty will be expected to maintain this physical distance while teaching and classroom furniture should not be moved without a work order.

Will students be able to meet in-person one-on-one with faculty?

One-on-one activity between students and their professors (advising, office hours, independent study meetings, etc) should take place remotely and not in small office spaces.

Will science labs, theatre and dance, and art studios be available remotely through online instruction / simulations?

Yes, faculty have received training on appropriate ways to integrate remote students into labs, studios, and performance spaces and training on online instruction and simulations so that all students can engage with the course material.


Last updated July 27