By Evan Rao | Image by Jubilee Hernandez
As Colorado College transitions into an unprecedented school year, students will notice changes made to the structure of classes. Classes are divided into four groups: in-person, flex, remote, and hybrid. Needless to say, these changes may prompt discomfort and confusion. Nine percent of classes are being conducted in-person, 29 percent are flex, 42 percent are remote, and 20 percent are hybrid for the fall semester. Examining the distinction between the class types, as well as understanding the reasoning behind adopting them, helps bring some clarity to the situation.
In-person classes retain much of the typical CC class experience, with most elements conducted in-person and the added inclusion of standard social distancing requirements. To attend in-person classes, one must have residency in Colorado Springs.
Remote classes are in many ways the new norm for students at CC, as well as throughout the country. This type of class is conducted entirely online, facilitated through Zoom discussions and digital workspaces. Remote classes are available to students both on and off campus, which provides greater flexibility and accessibility to students who cannot be on campus this year. Of course, remote learning is tough to adapt to, for students and teachers alike, but is an unfortunate necessity in the age of COVID-19.
Flex classes are essentially a combination of in-person and remote classes. In general, most aspects of flex classes are conducted remotely. However, on a class-by-class basis, professors have the option to conduct certain elements in-person. This could include socially distanced class meetings, one-on-one meetings with a professor conducted outside, or other group activities. Importantly, all flex classes are designed so that students can take them entirely remotely. Because of this, students are not required to have residency in Colorado Springs.
Hybrid classes, similar to flex classes, are a mixture of in-person and remote modes of learning. However, hybrid classes are more balanced between remote and in-person elements, while flex classes are primarily remote. Because of this, not all elements of hybrid classes are accessible remotely: an important distinction from flex classes. For all hybrid classes, residency in Colorado Springs is required.
When asked to comment on the rationale behind choosing these categories for classes, Claire Garcia, Dean of the Faculty and chair of the Academic Programs and Policies response team, said, “In coming up with these formats, we looked at CC needs but also what other colleges and universities are doing.”
Whether this system of classes remains the same throughout the year, or beyond, is hard to say.