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EWU Says It Will Focus On Online Learning This Fall

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University says it will make online instruction the top priority for fall quarter, continuing on with its approach to teaching this spring.

Provost David May says administrators are following the advice of health experts on campus.

“Their best assessment is that we start face-to-face in the fall, we will not finish face-to-face in the fall," May said. "That raises the question of, if we’re bringing students back to campus, and we have a significant belief that some students will become ill, and some may have negative outcomes from that, we’re not willing to take that risk.”

He says Eastern will offer in-person instruction in cases where online isn’t feasible, such as laboratory classes. He says the university will make one change from its spring routine.

“We went very quickly into the spring and that three weeks of transition thinking students would want asynchronous courses that were just out there and they could access when they wanted to for the flexibility that provides. What we found out through a survey we gave to our students is that they really kind of miss having a set time when they get to interact with their peers, even if it is virtually," May said.

Eastern will develop a set schedule of classes, with students expected to dial in at specific times.

The university will open its residence halls to students who want to live on campus, one student per room. May says administrators anticipate only about 600 students choosing that option, which means it should have space for single occupancy.

Eastern’s June commencement ceremony and first summer term will also be held online.