Updated Class Information Expected on July 15
A majority of undergraduate courses will go online this fall to decrease COVID-19 risk, Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin said in an email to students. Information about which classes will meet in-person will be available by July 15, she said.
Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin sent the following email to all students:
I am aware that many of you are anxious to know details of the Fall 2020 course schedule. I expect a fully updated course schedule to be available on Testudo by July 15. I am writing to share a bit more information with you now, ahead of the July 15 Testudo update.
Our efforts regarding teaching and learning this fall are grounded in four basic principles:
Preparing for Fall 2020
Your faculty and staff have been working hard throughout the summer to prepare a Fall semester for you that will be academically productive, exciting and as safe as possible. In response to a call for proposals, faculty members have submitted more than 300 proposals to redesign their Fall 2020 courses, improving the educational experience for more than 65,000 seats next fall.
Living-learning programs, student services and other special programs are developing engaging forms of programmatic, co-curricular and student support activities that will re-imagine how to enhance community engagement beyond the classroom (both in person and online) to help build the tight-knit bonds and out-of-classroom learning that are the hallmarks of the Maryland student experience.
For those students who are able to join us in-person in Fall 2020, academic and extracurricular enrichment on campus will supplement online engagement to the extent that public health circumstances allow.
Many faculty members are also engaged in workshops with the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Division of Information Technology Academic Technology Group this summer to enhance and personalize students’ fall educational experience, no matter what the mode of class delivery. We are also using the summer to physically change classrooms and other venues to enhance safety for in-person activities.
Work is nearly complete with the colleges and departments to finalize exactly which courses will be offered in-person, online or in a blended format next Fall, and what the room assignments and daily schedule will be. Because 6-foot social distancing limits the number of students that can be accommodated in a classroom, courses of more than 50 students will be delivered online. We anticipate that about 20% of undergraduate courses will be offered at least partially in-person, with priority given to classes that particularly need in-person instruction, such as some labs, performance courses, senior capstone projects, clinical instruction and internships. Some of the innovations being developed by faculty this summer are aimed at using creative blended instruction and hopefully will allow us to accommodate partial in-person instruction even in some larger classes, through smaller break-out and discussion sections.
As I mentioned above, we expect to have an updated fall course schedule with final course options available on Testudo July 15, including the in-person, online or blended format for each course.  We appreciate your patience as we work to make these updates accurate and complete. Once Testudo is updated, students should adjust their schedules as necessary and if additional assistance is needed, should contact their academic advisors.
Health and Safety Arrangements
Just as a trip to the grocery store is different now, with masks and one-way traffic through the store, campus will change as well. We have established some rules and procedures for everyone returning to campus in order to maintain as healthy an environment as possible.
BIG Ten Academic Alliance Special Courses
Another innovation that will be available next fall are classes that are being taught at other Big Ten Conference universities. Beginning this fall, each Big Ten university will make six to 10 courses available to students from across the Big Ten institutions. Full-time, degree-seeking Maryland students will be eligible to enroll in one of these Big Ten online courses per semester at no additional cost on a space-available basis. The courses will be elective in nature and have no stated prerequisites. The Big Ten Academic Alliance will develop and maintain a website listing the guidelines and requirements for this program and the courses offered at each university. We will alert you when this website becomes available.
The Bottom Line
We are not just rising to overcome the myriad challenges that teaching and learning during a pandemic impose. We are committed to making the fall semester as rewarding, safe and inclusive as possible and to striving for excellence no matter what the format of course delivery.
With all best wishes,
Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost
PS: We are developing an FAQ regarding class scheduling and expect to launch it on July 15 as well.
 Students confirmed to live in the residence halls should refer to the Fall 2020 Housing Addendum available at reslife.umd,edu/fall2020/addendum/.
 These requirements will continue to evolve and include, but may not be limited to, wearing a face covering over the nose and mouth at all times when inside buildings, and outside when in the presence of others; washing your hands often and sanitizing frequently used surfaces; practicing physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others); staying home or in your residence hall room if you are ill.
 Students confirmed to live in the residence halls can cancel their housing agreement without penalty through July 17 by emailing reslife@umd,edu, if they wish to do so after reviewing their updated fall course schedule.
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