Changes to learning at the University of Arkansas

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There are some changes coming to the University of Arkansas as students get ready to head back to class.

On Wednesday (August 12) U of A staff,  faculty, and students had a virtual forum to talk about what they new school year would look like. 

Communications director for the university, John Thomas said one of the big talkers was how students would be able to learn on campus safely. 

Thomas said there are four different methods students can choose from that involve in person, remote, and hybrid learning styles. 

But for those who will be in the classroom, Thomas said all proper precautions are being taken; with the facilities management team analyzing every classroom where students will be learning.

“We’re really looking at the layout and how they can lay out the desk to make sure everyone is staying six feet apart,” Thomas said. “And that includes the teacher. We don’t want to have desks to close to where they’re teaching and have that distance not be there.”

With the different learning styles, some students may not be coming to campus at all, so why are they being charged on campus fees?

Thomas said since campus is going to be open, facilities like the library, the Razorback Transit, and the recreation center are still operating so the fees will go toward keeping them up even if the student won’t necessarily be using them.

He said when it comes to a refund for remote students, that’s something faculty will look at later.

“It really depends on how the semester plays out,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t determine that right now and there’s not a trigger for if and when that would happen. But we’ll look at it similar to how we did in the spring when we had to go fully remote in a span of ten days.”

Thomas went on to say this time around, faculty and staff are better prepared to go on with a full semester despite the pandemic. University health leaders will make the call on what to do if and when there are new cases.

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