Updates for Fall 2020!

Dear Geography Majors,

We miss you, and we wanted to update you on our fall plans…

You have heard about the altered fall schedule, including “hybrid” and “electronic” classes, and changes are to class times (to allow for additional time between classes for cleaning). In the schedule, each class is designated by one of the following:

  • EA means Electronic Asynchronous – online, but complete the work in the assigned time at your own pace.
  • ES means Electronic Synchronous – online, but at least some content occurs in the assigned time slot.
  • LC means a normal (old fashioned!) face-to-face lecture, in a classroom, live!
  • HS means some kind of hybrid, both in-person and electronic. This will mean different things for different professors, and each professor will explain to you how their class will run. There are going to be LOTS of different models! Some examples:
    • Some professors will teach live in a classroom every single lecture, just like normal; but they have opted for this designation for maximum flexibility – so they CAN teach from home for any reason.
    • Some professors will teach live in a classroom every single lecture, just like normal; but if a student cannot be face-to-face, material will be available for participation online.
    • Some professors will meet half the class each week – or one third of the class each week!
    • Some professors will meet live for lab, but will deliver lectures online.

In the Geography Department, all faculty have participated to some extent in professional development workshops that explained methods and tools for a better online learning experience. Our department is teaching 28 separate classes (GEOG, GISC, and MSGA). Of these, 13 (~50%) are HS; three are LC. The rest (~43%) are Electronic.

There are many reasons for changing how we teach, but for the most part it is because we don’t have big enough spaces to allow for appropriate distancing. Our “geography” classroom, Monroe 240, normally seats 40 students – it now holds 13! Decisions have been made individually, and I know that each faculty member has been thoughtful in selecting an appropriate way to deliver each course.

It has been such a strange summer. We hope you and your families are well and that you’ll be able to attend classes in the fall – – and that we’ll SEE you! Please ask if you have any questions or concerns.

– Jackie Gallagher  jgallagh@umw.edu