It’s a safe bet that colleges and universities didn’t have “crippling global health pandemic” in their 2019-2020 school year strategy plan. That said, disruptions to on-campus learning are not unprecedented, which is why many institutions were able to stand up the IT infrastructure required to support some level of virtual teaching and learning.
However, there is a difference between standing up a framework for emergency virtual learning in response to a crisis and developing a long-term strategy with the necessary support infrastructure. The challenge institutions face in preparing for the 2020-2021 school year isn’t just about the quality of learning. In some cases, it’s the financial viability of the institution itself. With so many unknowns, it’s difficult to know what to plan for.
Dr. Joshua Kim, director of Online Programs and Strategy at Dartmouth College, and Edward Maloney, professor of English at Georgetown University, scoped out 15 potential scenarios for the fall semester – ranging from back-to-normal, starting the semester late, or a HyFlex teaching model, which is built around a flexible course structure that offers students the option to attend classes in person, online, or both.