BSC classes are offered in four different formats:
· On Campus Face-to-face: The traditional classroom setting where the instructor and students are physically located in the same place and may incorporate the use of multiple supportive technologies as appropriate.
· Online Asynchronous: Online instruction occurring independent of time or location.
· Online Synchronous: Online instruction occurring independent of location, but at the same time (real time).
· Hybrid/Blended: A form of instruction that includes students from different locations and/or environments (face-to-face, online, IVN, etc.) for synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction. Students should be available on the days and times listed for the course, though the class may meet in the classroom in-person or online-live, while also allowing for release time to work online in lieu of a scheduled meeting.
These formats address the diverse programs and courses offered at BSC and allow faculty to design learning experiences that can shift based on the health needs of the community. Instructors will provide a detailed description of their class plan during the first week of class.
The mode of instruction available for any particular class is partly dependent on the type of course a student enrolls in. For the most part, hands-on technical programs will continue in a face-to-face format with limited class sizes, social distancing, and mask requirements. General education classes will be offered in a hybrid format that, depending on the social distancing requirements in place, will allow face-to-face classroom instruction as well as a synchronous online classroom environment (online in real time). This hybrid structure allows instruction to continue should the health needs of faculty or students disrupt the classroom.
What you’ll see in your classes:
· Seating/desk arrangements adjusted to ensure social distancing is maintained for each student. Extra spacing will spread out student chairs in most rooms.
· Additional teaching technology that enhances instructional flexibility in classrooms and allows students who may need to be isolated to participate in the real-time education experience.
· In rooms with two doors, designation of one as an entrance and the other as an exit to improve the flow of individuals and to reduce clustering.
· Schedules that maximize student experiences and minimize risk
· Enhanced cleaning protocols related to touch points within the room
· Enhanced safety measures – masks (required in all campus settings per policy), sanitation, distancing, etc.
ACADEMICS: BSC Initiatives to Ensure High Quality Education
With the goal of ensuring classroom excellence while reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 by students, faculty, and staff, BSC has prioritized new initiatives.
· Classroom Mapping: Every campus classroom has been analyzed to determine optimal spacing. This process has spaced student chairs to ensure social distancing recommendations are met. Where needed, adjustments were made to the room layout.
· Teaching and Learning Center: A new Teaching and Learning Center began operation this summer to provide support for faculty as they enhance and design courses for student success.
· Classroom Technologies: BSC has enhanced classroom technologies to provide the flexibility needed in an environment with possible COVID-19 related disruptions.
ACADEMICS: Common Student Questions
Q: Does BSC have face-to-face classes?
A: Bismarck State College is open and providing the best possible in-person classroom and experience while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and the public. BSC recognizes that the threat from COVID-19 continues to impact our community and lives in different ways. However, BSC strives to minimize that risk through planning, communication, and encouraging responsibility of all employees throughout this phase (and beyond).
BSC offers classes in four different formats:
· On Campus Face-to-face
· Online Asynchronous
· Online Synchronous
For the most part, hands-on technical programs continue in a face-to-face format with limited class sizes, social distancing, and mask requirements. General education classes are offered in a hybrid format that, depending on the social distancing requirements in place, allow face-to-face classroom instruction as well as a synchronous online classroom environment (online in real time).
Instructors provide a detailed description of their class plan to students prior to the start of class.
Q: I am a medically at-risk student and my classes are all delivered in a face-to-face/hybrid format. What do I do if I need to attend class in a virtual format only?
A: Students that are at-risk can request accommodations based on their specific medical condition. Based on this request, BSC staff will work with the student to identify reasonable accommodations and support the student's ability to continue their education.
Students can request accommodations through:
BSC Student Accessibility Services
Q: I’ve heard talk about hybrid classes. What does that mean?
A: BSC uses a technology-enhanced instructional model that allows students and faculty to fully interact in person or remotely. This technology allows for live participation in both in-person and remote class periods and at the same time allows students and faculty that are vulnerable, in isolation or in quarantine to continue to effectively teach and learn.
Most classrooms on the BSC campus are equipped with the technology to hold hybrid classes, and faculty are supported to train and teach in this innovative model.
Students should be available on the days and times listed for the course, though the class may meet in the classroom in-person or online-live, while also allowing for release time to work online in lieu of a scheduled meeting.
Q: How is the delivery method for each class decided?
A: The decision regarding method of delivery for each class is determined by the college on a case-by-case basis. BSC currently has both the online-only format and the face-to-face/hybrid format available on the schedule for many classes and students can enroll in the format that works best for them. However, there are some classes that are only available in one of the two formats because of the nature of the course such as labs, hands-on technical classes, an online-only program, etc.
Q: Technical, general education and energy courses are all very different types of courses. How are they conducted so that students stay safe but still get the same educational experience?
A: Below are examples you will see in various courses:
- Transfer or General Education Courses: A wide variety of courses are offered for transfer and how each addresses the current situation varies, but the following examples give an overview of what to expect.
- Hybrid courses separate their classes into two groups to allow for social distancing. In most cases, the first group attends class in the classroom (face-to-face) on select days, while the other group listens and interacts live online from a remote location, and vice versa. In other classes, instructors deliver the same lecture face-to-face to each group, while the group not on campus that day works on projects online during their off-campus day.
- Courses identified as Face-to-Face have limited class numbers to account for social distancing. These will provide a full classroom experience for students.
- Live online classes allow students to connect with the class remotely but at the same time as their classmates (some of whom may be in the classroom), allowing for real-time interactions in class.
- A typical science lab course has students divided into two groups to allow for social distancing as needed. While one group is working in the lab, the other group is working on projects in a nearby classroom or online.
- For more information on transfer courses, contact Dr. Amy Juhala at 701.224.5760 or Amy.Juhala@bismarckstate.edu
- Technical Education Courses: Courses are conducted in a manner that protects both students and instructors. Students who are unable to complete the hands-on skills due to illness or quarantine are required to work with their instructor to complete tasks/skills when no longer quarantined.
- Energy Courses: Face-to-face offerings through the National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE) division consist of classroom theory, virtual interactive learning tools, and hands-on lab competencies. Supplemental online based resources and technology are used to improve learning, social distancing, and student/faculty safety. Masks are mandatory.
Q: If a student is or lives with someone at high risk of the virus, how would that student conduct lab classes without putting their own or other’s lives at risk?
A: As BSC transitions back to more regular operations, learning will be conducted with the utmost caution following all the safety protocols outlined in the CAMPUS SAFETY section of this FAQ.
Q: I've already registered, and my courses are listed as on-campus in Campus Connection. What if I can’t attend class because I’ve been exposed to the virus?
A: BSC supports students through any disruptions caused by exposure to the virus. Most general education courses have been converted to the hybrid/blended mode. This allows instructors the flexibility to provide face-to-face instruction or, provide synchronous online instruction for a student who may need to self-quarantine due to exposure to the virus. Technical programs continue in a face-to-face format and many are designed to provide student support due to health-related disruptions. As always, your instructor is your first contact to gather more information as needed.
Q: What if I get sick or one of my classmates does and we’ve been in class together? What will happen?
A: BSC follows ND Department of Health (NDDoH) close contact protocols and works with the individual to ensure the NDDoH is made aware of the situation. NDDoH will make a determination about the possible exposure, complete contact tracing as needed, and determine the nature of the contact and possible monitoring requirements for the near future. Students faced with this situation will work closely with their instructor to ensure their education is not disrupted. The hybrid/blended setup makes that possible.