Academic FAQs Fall 2020

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Class Scheduling and Instruction Delivery FAQ

June 19, 2020

How is CSU determining class structure?

As Colorado State University plans the details of how our class sections will be designed, we continue to be committed to providing as much face-to-face instruction as possible. This must be accomplished while following state and Larimer County public health orders and putting sensible measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our students, faculty and staff.

Our plan for fall semester is that the majority of classes will be face-to-face or hybrid (combination of face-to-face and online), knowing that this plan continues to evolve and can change until the beginning of the semester as we respond to state and county public health orders. Because this work takes time and public health orders will change, we will not finalize our class schedules and locations until right before classes start in late summer or early fall.

We are balancing many considerations and public health orders. Those are, by the numbers:

  • 25 percent: Our classrooms cannot exceed more than 25 percent of their normal capacity (as set by fire code). In most instances, even one third of the students enrolled in a section would not fit in the classroom assigned for the class. This means classes scheduled in traditional classrooms must be moved. We are moving some courses online to make space for class sections that can fit in a larger classroom under current health guidelines
  • 6 feet: We must still provide 6 feet of distance between students who are registered for each section while in a classroom (and provide room for the instructor, too), regardless of classroom capacity
  • 7,000: This is the rough number of classes we must accommodate either in person or online for fall (some classes are taught multiple times a week, split into class sections)
  • 1,000: The number of classrooms available on our Main campus

Our work includes paying close attention to the unique components of each class section, scheduling time and space depending upon the teaching needs and listening to the feedback from faculty about what they can accomplish both in person and online when teaching their classes.

Creative solutions

We have:

  • Added many class sections to the class schedule
  • Added sections to our evening class selections. This includes adding more classes to our 4-8 p.m. block, using classrooms that have typically not been filled in the evening
  • Transformed spaces in buildings where classes traditionally have not been taught to accommodate added sections. Students may have classes in ballrooms, fieldhouses, and other spaces that are not usually considered classrooms
  • Hiring additional instructors to teach additional class sections
  • Exploring adding some face-to-face class sections on Saturdays
  • Training hundreds of our instructors this summer in how to provide excellent online delivery – this is important for classes that may be hybrid or online, and also important for students who may need online accommodations during the semester (for example, they become ill or are quarantined) , or have learning accommodations self-declared to the Student Disability Center
  • Doubled the number of our classrooms with online delivery technology for hybrid classes by investing in new technology to accommodate students who may need online delivery for health reasons

Please see additional FAQs below.

With the considerations noted above, we are creating in-person, online and hybrid options for classes. Some classes will be designed so that students are in-person on a rotation basis. For example, a professor may be teaching a class to one-third of the class in the classroom, while the other two class groups participate through a video platform such as Zoom, and rotating the sections into the classroom so each section has some face-to-face delivery.

Students should look at RAMWeb, keeping in mind that information there is continuing to change. The Fall 2020 class schedule was built nine months ago – pre-pandemic, at a time when classes were delivered face-to-face. Because of software limits, CSU must make some changes to the schedule through manual entry for all 7,000 class sections. Some class sections that currently appear to be face-to-face will be hybrid or online.

Classes that show a room assignment are currently planned to be hybrid or face to face, especially after fall break. Students should check the section called “My Weekly Schedule” for updates.

Roughly two-thirds of our class sections will be 100 percent face-to-face or have a hybrid of some of the instruction being face-to-face. Some sections currently slated to be online may come back onto campus.

These class sections are synchronous classes (the instructor and students meet online at the same time) with a real-time component to facilitate group interaction, such as video meetings, group breakouts or chat functions, but we understand the need for asynchronous learners (remote classes that can be done according to the student’s schedule, without a real time requirement for students and instructors to meet online). Some courses will be both face-to-face and online at the same time. This is in response to a recent survey of our students, where students indicated that they wanted opportunities for time together with their classmates and instructors for classes delivered remotely. Some faculty will require participation in the class but will make alternatives available to students who cannot participate in real time. Students must contact their instructors as soon as possible to let the know of their limits on synchronous participation.

  • All classes will start on August 24
  • Registration cancellation is open through August 23
  • Drop deadline is after classes start the end of the first week of the semester for a full refund. Withdrawal after this date will result in pro-rated refunds. Deadlines for each class are in RAMWeb in the class schedule

To discuss potential learning accommodations, contact the Student Disability Center. You can also connect with your advisor to explore changing your schedule to all online courses. Other options are to work with the department chair to find a class that can substitute and fulfill requirements for your degree, or take a class online through CSU Online or CSU Global.

While scheduling classroom space, we are prioritizing labs and other experiential learning classes. However, some labs will be online – particularly those that are focused on computers, such as writing or graphic work. Most studio classes will be hybrid to provide students with access to supplies and equipment.

Please see the university’s online resources, which also continue to evolve, and that outline public health precautions currently planned for the semester at

Faculty will make office hours available, including options for face-to-face or virtual. The university also has developed tips available through our Keep Learning site.  

Many our faculty have spent their summers engaged in their continued learning of how to best deliver excellence in online and hybrid classes, expanding their understanding of the student experience and honing their online skills.

Students will have access to study areas, the Lory Student Center, Morgan Library and other university spaces, within public health guidance restrictions on building capacity. Our outdoor spaces also provide wifi access to our students with many areas to sit and study.

Many labs will be open with measures in place for physical distancing. Contact the department associated with your major for major-specific software needs, as well as any individual access needs.

Students should be able to access the internet and have a computer. The Morgan Library has resources available to students who need laptops. Other technology, such as software, will be dictated by the class and those technologies are generally made available through the class.

No, tuition rates will not be changed. CSU provides the same education, support and crediting towards degrees regardless of modality. Students will continue to learn from instructors and receive academic credit and stay on course to complete their degree program. CSU cannot give resident instruction status to students who live out of state, as outlined by financial aid restrictions and state higher education statutes. For more information on resident classification, visit Office of Financial Aid.