UofA coronavirus discussions involve possibility of classes moving online


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas continues to monitor the latest coronavirus developments in preparation to protect students at home and abroad. Administrators’ discussions involve taking significant action, including possibly moving classes online after spring break.

It appears the next two weeks will be filled with decisions on how to address the outbreak, said UA spokesperson John Thomas, but spring break will be a crucial point to get something done considering the amount of travel people will be doing. Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz sent an email to students and staff telling them to use prudence when deciding where to visit.

The same email instructed concerned parties to be prepared for the possibility of changes. Should the online option be implemented, more decisions would have to be made, Thomas said.

“Whether [students] have to stay in their dorms, whether they have to stay in their sorority houses, if they had to stay in their hometowns out of state, what would be the way that we could still reach them and conduct those classes and courseworks?” Thomas said. “We’re still kind of ironing out those details.”

The online system, Blackboard, is being checked and tweaked to make sure it wouldn’t crash with heavier activity, Thomas said. Tech staff would work with professors and instructors to get their lessons online.

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