As students return for in-person classes at the University of Central Oklahoma this fall, they will be joined by students sitting in virtual seats as a part of the university’s new extended classroom option. The new option is part of the university’s overall fall reopening plan in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extended classroom helps students who are looking for a completely online schedule for the semester, but could not find all the classes they wanted in the university’s 100% online format. The new option also helps the university facilitate physical distancing recommendations in classrooms by reducing the number of in-person seats. Students in the extended classroom have a virtual seat in the class.
More than 1,400 in-person classes have the new extended classroom option. Students in extended classroom courses will join the in-person class remotely, via livestream, at their regularly scheduled class time. Students will have the same professor and opportunities for interaction during class. There is no additional fee for those who enroll for a seat in the extended classroom.
“Every student has different needs, there is a demand for online and in-person courses,” said Adam Johnson, associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Success. “We want to offer as many options as possible to accommodate our students’ preferences, learning styles, and comfort level with being on campus.”
To prepare for the fall semester, Central made significant upgrades to technology infrastructure and equipment to support the expansion of the online class experience. The university has equipped 268 classrooms with new tracking cameras and microphones. A limited number of laptops, webcams, Wi-Fi hotspots and headsets will be available for students to check out. Orientation sessions will be offered to prepare students for the extended classroom experience. The university has also expanded Wi-Fi coverage on the campus to include more outdoor areas and parking lots.
The university also offers 100% online courses, which are asynchronous, meaning the student does not have to join the class at a set time each week.
Many campus services will continue to be offered virtually or in person. When on campus, face masks are required when around others, as well as observing social distancing guidelines when interacting with others.
There’s still time to enroll in classes at Central this fall. Classes begin Aug. 17 and enrollment in classes closes Aug. 21. Current students can enroll through UCONNECT and new students can get started at www.uco.edu/admissions-aid.
Learn more about the university’s fall 2020 reopening plan, Bringing Back the Bronchos, at www.uco.edu/coronavirus.