The spring semester at Iowa State is in full swing and many of the same COVID-19 protocols are still in place as last semester.

The fall 2020 semester continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The university enforced many policies and systems in an effort to keep the virus contained. Virtual learning and hybrid classrooms continue to be the university’s most significant change in course delivery compared to past semesters.

“This spring semester looks a lot like the fall semester. Our percentages and our enrollment numbers are very similar to the fall semester,” said Ann Marie VanDerZanden, associate Provost for the Senior Vice President and Provost.

VanDerZanden said that students and faculty provided the university with their opinion of alternative course structures.

“I think that we heard positive feedback from students and faculty,” she said. “Having the flexibility of some online and some hybrid worked well. That flexibility was something that came across as positive.”

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost outlined the requirements for face-to-face, hybrid, online and arranged classes for Spring 2021 here.

All classes are in ordinance with the Cyclones Care campaign.

According to Inside Iowa State, in January 2021, 21 percent of classes were delivered in a face-to-face format, 17 percent in a hybrid format, 36 percent online and 26 percent arranged.

VanDerZanden also explained that this semester allows for more collaborative and experimental courses to continue. She said 81 percent of laboratories and 85 percent of studios meet in a face-to-face format this spring.

The university reviews how courses should be delivered based on a few criteria. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost said large lecture-based courses often get delivered online due to the high COVID-19 infection risk, requiring proper face coverings for face-to-face courses and having conversations with instructors and staff.

VanDerZanden said she was proud of Iowa State students’ responses to COVID-19 protocols.

“Students did such a great job honoring the Cyclones Care policies,” she said. “Everybody has a responsibility in this.”

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