How to participate in online/hybrid courses

Olin is prepared to help remote students engage with their instructors in the classroom—and fellow classmates.

Observing public health guidelines in hybrid classrooms

WashU Olin has put in place a number of important safeguards to create a healthy learning environment.

Forms of hybrid course delivery

Take a look at what the fall 2020 semester will look like at WashU Olin.

A guide to course delivery this fall

The university has delineated which courses will be delivered using which methodologies outlined below. You can view an academic calendar for WashU Olin here. Courses at Olin will be offered in one of four modalities for the fall 2020:

  • In-person. Courses with 25 or fewer students. All students are in the classroom at the time of delivery.
  • Online. All students are participating remotely via Zoom. Courses with more than 60 students.
  • Hybrid – Flexible (HyFlex). Faculty deliver their material at the same time to all students. Students alternate between participating in the classroom and virtually, via Zoom. The course will be livestreamed to facilitate remote participation. An option for courses between 25 and 60 students.
  • Hybrid – Flipped (HyFlip). Faculty record a weekly course session that is delivered asynchronously to students. Student are divided into groups that alternate in synchronous, in-person class sessions. An option for courses between 25 and 60 students.

Course accessibility. All synchronous courses (regardless of mode of delivery) will be livestreamed and recorded to accommodate both synchronous and asynchronous viewing. This is important for students who may not be on-campus or not able to attend in person due to health reasons.

Course syllabus. Every course syllabus should include language how the class would be delivered under various scenarios such as faculty and student illness or changes to university operations. Templates for such language are provided in the Box folder shared with faculty and staff.

EMBA and PMBA courses. All EMBA will be taught in person. Some core PMBA course may be taught in person, to the extent possible.  

Inability to teach. If an instructor becomes unable to deliver a class in person, the dean’s office will work to either find a substitute instructor or switch to online for the necessary period of time.

Faculty concerns: Faculty wanting to request to modify their assigned teaching modality should reach out to Joyce Montgomery, head of Olin HR. Such requests will be considered in a confidential manner.

Other class formats: For courses offered in the Class-Lab format (mainly Business Analytics courses), the Class will be offered online asynchronously and Labs will be offered in-person.

  • Platforms, seminars, and other speaker series will be conducted online.
  • CEL projects and other experiential learning will be conducted online.

Students in hybrid courses

Student rotation in hybrid courses: Both HyFlex and HyFlip courses require students to rotate between in-person and online attendance. Rotation will be determined as follows:

  • MBA core courses and BSBA first-year business courses– rotation will be determined by
    the Programs offices.
  • All other courses – rotation will be determined by the instructor.
  • For courses offered twice a week, students will alternate attendance in-person within
    the week. For example, in a Monday/Wednesday course, half the students will attend in person on Monday and the other half will attend on Wednesday.
  • For courses offered once a week (mainly PMBA courses), students will alternate
    attendance in-person every other week.

Conducting courses on campus

  • Course times and breaks: To allow for more passing time between classes, break time will be extended to 15 minutes, and teaching time will be set to 75 minutes per class session.
  • University guidelines: The central university has outlined how WashU intends to deploy a consistent approach to classrooms across campus. Olin is aligning its approach with these guidelines, as outlined on this page.
  • Class Passing Protocols:  Where possible, signs will identify classroom doors as “entry only” or “exit only” and should be used accordingly.
    • At the end of class, room occupants should be directed to exit the room through the “exit only” doors while maintaining physical distance. Occupants closest to the doors should leave first, with those farthest from the exit leaving last.
    • Classrooms with one entrance/exit should follow the same exiting procedures.
    • Faculty should be the last to leave and facilitate an orderly transition and passing between classes. Students should not enter a room until the room has been fully vacated by occupants of the previous class. Entering students should disinfect their spaces using wipes provided in the classroom.
    • Students and faculty should avoid face-to-face conversations at the end of class and faculty should redirect the students to meet with them via remote office hours or appointments in order to maintain physical distancing requirements, and to assist in the transition of classroom occupancy.
    • All individuals should avoid loitering in areas where congestion may occur (e.g., faculty podiums, narrow hallways or building entrances and exits).
    • When and where possible, students arriving to class should use outside waiting areas, such as courtyards, until five minutes prior to the start of class in order to avoid congregating in close proximity of exiting students.
    • Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use traditionally less trafficked areas such as back stairs, side entrances/exits, and restrooms on floors with fewer classrooms.
  • Classroom Engagement Moderators: Each classroom will have an assigned classroom engagement moderator. The moderator will be students or staff whose role is to support the faculty and students in a hybrid environment, managing classroom technology, facilitating remote participation and the “chat” function of online students, among other non-teaching and non-TA responsibilities.
  • Pass/Fail policies: Regular grading policies are in order. Olin faculty have not decided to revert to pass/fail in the fall.
  • Exams: Final exams for the semester or Mini B classes will be conducted online during the designated exams period, January 4-10, 2021. Mini A exams will be conducted during the Mini A exam period (October 26-31) and could be offered in-person or online depending on the mode of delivery.  Faculty are encouraged to offer continuous assessment through the entirety of the semester. Faculty have the discretion to determine whether or not they will have a final exam and in what format.
  • Waitlists: Students cannot physically attend any course for which they are not yet enrolled. Waitlisted students will be able to attend a course virtually while on the waitlist. While on the waitlist, students will have access to Canvas, from where faculty will share information on how to connect virtually.

Maintaining physical distance

  • Academic group work for students:  Students will not be allowed to work in teams inside Olin buildings. Faculty and students should encourage all group work or team projects to be conducted online.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs): Faculty and TAs should collaborate virtually. TAs can attend class sessions virtually so as not occupy a seat that would accommodate a student who is enrolled in the course. If a course is under-enrolled and below room capacity, the faculty can invite the TA to join the class in-person.
  • Breakout/study rooms: Breakout and study rooms will be unavailable until further notice.
    The university is working to identify study space areas that would comply with physical
    distancing, capacity, and sanitizing requirements.
  • Guest speakers and visitors to campus: All guest speakers be hosted virtually. All faculty, staff and student groups must adhere to University policies related to guest speakers and visitors to campus.
  • Faculty office hours: Faculty office hours will be online.