Academic-Related Questions Regarding Spring 2021 | Webster University

Student Academic-Related FAQs for Spring 2021

Common academic questions for Spring 2021 

Spring 2021 will not see many changes from Fall 2020 at the main campus in Webster Groves. If you attended in Fall 2020, you should have a good understanding of the various modalities and practices for the Spring 2021 semester. If you are new to Webster for Spring 2021, welcome! Below, you will find the answers to some frequently-asked questions. These FAQs will be updated (with dates marked in the question) as additional frequent questions arise and as any additional changes are made for Spring 2021.

Students at Webster’s international and extended campuses should contact local campus staff and refer to their local campus communications. 

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020

How will courses be offered this Spring for students on the main campus in Webster Groves? 

Webster University is returning to on-ground instruction where possible and as safety and security guidance allows. Courses will be offered in one of four formats (modalities):

  • Face-to-face or lecture classes, which are on-ground courses that will include mask/face covering requirements and social distancing. Social distancing requirements will also require other modifications in some classes; for example, some classes may use two classrooms.
  • Remote (WebNet+) classes, which are courses that will meet at the days and times scheduled (synchronously). These classes may have a section that meets on campus, but students will have the ability to be connected to the class via videoconferencing from home. Videoconferencing will take place via Zoom.
  • Online courses, which are courses that occur completely asynchronously. Students complete the work on the days and times that work best for them to ensure they meet the due dates.
  • Hybrid classes, which are courses that will be offered with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats. For example, the course may meet synchronously, either face-to-face or remotely, for part of the time, and asynchronous engaged learning activities may be offered for part of the time. Synchronous class meetings would occur on the days and within the times identified in the schedule.

The Spring 2021 Power Search Course Schedule as well as students’ schedules in Connections display the course modality information.

Considerations departments used when determining modalities for individual courses include: classroom size under reduced occupancy requirements, need for access to equipment and materials, equipping rooms with technology for remote or hybrid delivery, and instructor needs.

While the Spring 2021 schedule should be fairly well set, as always, typical start-of-semester/term course adjustments may be made, including cancellation of courses with low enrollment. Therefore, it is important that you check your schedule the day of your first class in ensure that you have the most up-to-date information about your class.

How has Webster prepared to offer classes in these four modalities? 

These modalities were used in Fall 2020 with great success. Webster’s preparation during Summer 2020 and modifications and enhancements in Fall 2020 have positioned the University to be even more prepared for Spring 2021. Safety measures, including revised classroom occupancies to support social distancing, face mask/covering requirements, and daily health screening for all community members, will remain in effect.

You can read more about these measures and the corresponding expectations for community members in a message to the Webster community sent on July 31, 2020.

Webster has invested in technology to improve faculty and student teaching and learning, particularly with regard to improving remote learning, supporting the hybrid course modality, helping with social distancing in the classroom, and addressing needs unique to experiential and hands-on courses.

Making Remote Learning Better

Zoom for Real-Time Conferencing: Enhances teaching and learning in virtual environments by offering breakout rooms, transcriptions for recordings, and the convenience of launching from the WorldClassRoom/Canvas page. Additionally, students have their own Zoom accounts which further expands ways that our communities can learn and collaborate.

Kaltura for Media Rich Classes: Provides instructors with personal media galleries for instructional video content, capture tools to make new videos and screencasts directly into Canvas, and even the ability to create video quizzes with no worries of ever exceeding Canvas course file space.

Expanded Faculty Training and Support: Webster has offered 95 workshops for faculty over the Summer, and open hours for drop-in support six days weekly. Hundreds of faculty have attended workshops or support sessions to help them prepare for their Fall classes.

Tablets for Students with Needs: The University has purchased a supply of Microsoft Surface Go tablets to make available to students who need devices to meet online and remote course expectations. Students in need of this support may learn more here.

Supporting Hybrid Teaching and Learning

Deploy New Classroom Cameras: The number of classroom spaces with streaming cameras has been expanded from 11 to 30, with opportunities to add more as global supply chains for these products make them more available.

Writing Tablets for Faculty: The Faculty Development Center is distributing more than 100 writing devices to faculty to support instructional practices, such as explaining formulas and processes, teaching visual concepts, and providing feedback on student work.

Social Distancing in The Classroom

Computer Lab Instructor Software: Computer labs have been set up with software that allows instructors and students to share screens in class, removing the need to approach stations to support student learning.

Supporting Experiential Learning and Hands-on Courses

Academic programs identified a wide range of unique solutions to support teaching in their disciplines. From projectors and cameras in performing arts spaces, or creating virtual opportunities to complete field experiences, to small solutions like new processes for reserving space to work, students will find changes designed to help them achieve the relevant hands-on experiences for their programs of study.

 

Where can I go to access and participate in my remote classes when I’m on campus? 

Webster WiFi will work all over campus. Below are some inside locations on the Webster Groves campus that you can use to access your remote classes. Students who bring their own devices and equipment (e.g., headphones or earbuds) can access their remote classes from various locations on campus:

  • The Edward Jones Commons in the East Academic Building (EAB): Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Library: Library hours are available at http://library.webster.edu/about/hours.html.
  • The University Center (UC): Has seating, but no tables. Review the University Center hours here.
  • Browning Hall, the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB): In the ISB, students are welcome to use the lobby areas. In addition, there are classrooms in the ISB that students can use for remote class participation and study areas on a first-come, first-served bases. Students must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines and, in some rooms, headphones or earbuds must be worn. A sign outside of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, ISB 202, will provide more information.
  • Priest House Student Lounge

Students who need to use a computer but can bring their own headphones or earbuds can access computers in the following areas of campus:

  • East Academic Building 104 – between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • East Academic Building 212 – between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • The Library: Students looking for computers workstations set up with headphones and webcams can find six computers set up in this way in the Library. These workstations are first-come, first-served and are available on the 2nd floor in the Special Collections area.

What if I cannot attend class because of COVID-19? (e.g. If I have COVID-19 symptoms, if I don't pass the Daily Health Assessment, if I'm required to self-quarantine, etc.?)

We have two key goals: to assist you in progressing toward your chosen degree, and to keep you – and other Webster students, faculty, and staff – safe and healthy. If you do not feel well, are required to self-quarantine, etc., we want you to stay home! Active participation in class is important, and we have increased ways for students to keep up with classes and coursework, which may include remote options in face-to-face classes.

The most important thing for you to do is keep in touch with your instructors. Notify your instructors if you must miss class, and consult with them on your options for keeping up or catching up with coursework. You can also contact the Academic Advising Center for advice (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847).

 

If I am registered for Spring courses, what should I do now?

If you are registered for Spring courses, you do not need to act at this time. You should already have seen and reviewed the course formats/modalities for your selected courses as you were completing your registration. However, should you wish to change your course schedule, you may do so. If you need assistance, please connect with your assigned advisor and/or the Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), where staff will work with you and your faculty advisor on your schedule.

 

If I am NOT registered for Spring courses yet, what should I do now? 

You should register for your desired Spring courses to ensure that you obtain a place in classes that you need and want. If you are unsure of what classes to take, please contact your assigned Advisor or the Academic Advising Center for assistance. Contact advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847.

 

How do I indicate that I want to take my courses online or in remote (WebNet+) formats (modalities)?

Selecting courses in these modalities and registering for those courses will ensure those modalities. If you need advice or assistance, you can:

  • Contact the Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), OR
  • “Raise Your Hand” in Starfish by selecting “Need Help Registering for Classes.”

 

How do I indicate that I want to take as many courses as possible on-ground?

Selecting courses in the lecture modality and registering for those courses will ensure that modality – though, please note that circumstances may change due to a variety of issues, including possible restrictions for St. Louis County or updated Department Health guidelines. If you need advice or assistance, you can:

  • Contact the Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), OR
  • “Raise Your Hand” in Starfish by selecting “Need Help Registering for Classes.”

 

Will every course be offered in both a face-to-face and a remote or online format (modality)? 

While Webster has a robust listing of courses in all modalities on the Course Schedule, not every course will be offered in all formats/modalities. You can review courses and their course formats/modalities to make selections and/or changes to your registration as needed. The Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847) is happy to provide advice and assistance as needed.

 

What will happen with Spring study abroad programs?

All Spring 2021 semester and Spring 1, 2021, scheduled study abroad programs (except programs in Japan and Germany) have been canceled based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of State (DOS), worldwide travel restrictions, a review of Covid-19 cases in each study abroad location, and other country-specific resources. Programs in Japan and Germany will be reviewed in late November/early December due to their later start dates. Spring 2021 study abroad applicants have been provided with a list of virtual study abroad courses at Webster international campus locations from which they can select a course(s) for their Spring schedules. These courses could be taken in combination with any courses they are taking at their home campus.

Decisions about Spring 2, 2021, and Spring Break 2021 study abroad programs will be made in late November/early December, and students with applications for these terms will be notified when those decisions have been made.

For more information, contact the Office of Study Abroad (worldview@webster.edu or 314-968-6988), or visit the Division of Global Education Coronavirus Update page .

 

Will the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar change? Will there be a Spring Break? 

There are no changes for the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar at this time. Undergraduate classes are scheduled to start on January 11 and finish on May 7, with Spring Break occurring the week of March 8-12. Most graduate classes are scheduled to start on January 4 and end on May 14, with Spring Break the week of March 8-12. (More details are on the Academic Calendar.) Webster continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and the factors that impact communities and campuses. If an adjustment in the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar is necessary, those communications will be sent to the Webster community in a timely manner.

Will academic support services (academic counseling, ADA accommodations and support, assistive technology assistance and support, and tutoring and writing services) be available virtually in Spring 2020?

Yes, of course! Webster University always provides these resources and supports in a virtual manner because we serve a global community. In addition, the newly renovated physical Reeg Academic Resource Center (Reeg ARC), located on the Webster Groves (St. Louis), Missouri, campus, will be open to support St. Louis-area students. To learn more about academic support services, visit the Reeg Academic Resource Center website at https://www.legacy.webster.edu/arc.

 

Will the Library be open?

The library’s online collections are available 24/7 at http://library.webster.edu. There you will also find information about getting help with your research and services including mail delivery of materials from the library’s collection, interlibrary loan, and MOBIUS.

The physical library on the main campus is scheduled to open to the Webster community on August 17. Following campus health protocols, students will be able to browse and check out library materials, request and pick up items, and use computers and study spaces. In order to facilitate social distancing, furniture and computer seating have been rearranged, allowing more space. Additional temporary changes have been made to help keep users safe.

 

I am a military-affiliated student. Will my benefits be impacted if I take some or all of my courses online this Fall?

Does Webster provide support for technology and internet access for students?

Yes. Based on student surveys and feedback, we know that students may need assistance obtaining devices to use as well as assistance with internet connections. We have 1) purchased a stock of devices that students can check out for the term or semester; 2) provided options to support internet access for students who need it; and 3) leveraged our emergency loan program and expanded it to meet emerging needs. Many of these steps are the work of a special task force of faculty and staff who are advising Webster leadership on how best to invest in technology to support the academic success of our students.

For St. Louis-area students, an Emergency Technology Application has been created to provide support Webster University students who are experiencing a technology crisis that could adversely affect their semester. Applications are reviewed and coordinated through the Dean of Students Office. See this Emergency Technology Application page for the application and eligibility information.

For other technology issues, contact the Information Technology Service Desk for technology-related questions and needs. Call 314-246-5995 or 866-435-7270 or email support@webster.edu. You will find other details, including hours of operation at https://www.legacy.webster.edu/technology/service-desk/.

 

I am thinking of taking the semester off. What should I do?

We know that everyone is experiencing various challenges as this time! Webster is committed to working with you to help you continue your academic journey during the pandemic. Like you, we hope that challenges presented by COVID-19 lessen in the coming months. In the meantime, we encourage you to keep on the path to complete your degree and graduate on time. We are here to support you in achieving your educational goals. We strongly encourage you to discuss your degree completion path and timeline with your assigned advisor or with a staff advisor in the Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847).

If you do need to take time off, please contact the Academic Advising Center (advising@webster.edu, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847) and the Financial Aid Office (financialaid@webster.edu, 314-968-6992, or 800-983-4623) to discuss details specific to your personal situation (e.g., revised degree completion dates, financial aid implications).

 

I am a student at another Webster campus (not the main campus). Where do I find information about my course offerings?

Specific course offerings and modalities will vary by campus and according to local conditions. If you're an undergraduate student at a campus other than the main campus in Webster Groves, refer to information from your local campus.

 

I am a graduate student. Where do I find information about my course offerings and program?

The modalities of some graduate programs at U.S. locations have been adjusted for Fall 2020. Please see the list in this announcement for affected programs

These and other course modality plans are subject to change based on evolving conditions and capacity related to the pandemic. For graduate students outside the United States, refer to information from your local campus.