Middlebury faculty members are known for their excellence in teaching, and this is true regardless of the circumstances or the formats in which they teach. Your professors are busily and thoughtfully adapting their courses to meet the current moment in ways that prioritize the same critical thinking, intellectual rigor, experiential learning, and global citizenship that always characterize a Middlebury education.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for fall 2020, including holidays, breaks, and exam period, remains as originally announced by President Laurie Patton. Classes for the fall semester begin on September 8, 2020, pause for a one-week holiday break beginning Saturday, November 21, and resume remotely on Monday, November 30, through finals period. If the pandemic demands that we adjust the academic calendar, we will notify the Middlebury community.

Course Work

Students will find courses offered in a variety of formats this semester, providing options for students to study on campus or remotely. But the range of course formats extends beyond a simple distinction between in-person and online. Some online courses will be offered in a scheduled format, with students and faculty meeting together in real time, and other online courses will be offered in a flexible format, with students engaging at any time with carefully crafted course materials. Some courses will be offered in hybrid formats that will have on-campus and remote students learning together, or will take place in person some days and online others, or will have in-person discussions paired with online lectures. Finally, some courses will be fully in person. Please see the specific courses and course modality descriptions. Students may determine which courses and formats best serve their personal and academic goals.

Students and faculty will remain physically distant from each other during in-person instruction, and classroom capacities have been reduced to accommodate that distancing. Our largest courses, with more than 35 students, will take place online, often with smaller in-person discussions or labs to accompany them. Courses are being updated in Banner to reflect their new classroom assignments. The course catalog is being updated to reflect each course’s particular format, or modality. 

Students who return to campus will be eligible to enroll in courses offered in any format. Students who study remotely will be eligible to enroll in courses that are identified as flexible online, scheduled online, and “hyflex.” Refer to this list of course modality descriptions for additional information. An online academic forum will be held in July to help students identify which courses are available to them.

Course Selection

Students are encouraged to consider their interests and goals, as well as their learning preferences, in selecting courses for the coming semester. Course work and course meetings will be different from usual due to the pandemic. Academic advisors are available to help students consider their course selections. Students will receive information from the registrar’s office, their advisors, and an online academic forum in the last week of July regarding registration procedures.

Middlebury Registration Webinar

- Well, welcome, everybody, to this special midsummer event. My name is Jim Ralph. I’m a member of the History Department and the Dean for Faculty Development and Research. And I’ll be serving as your moderator for this session. As you all know better than anyone, as returning students, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every facet of your Middlebury experience. Typically, in the middle of the summer we would not be discussing course registration, we would not be discussing course registration for the fall semester with you at this time. In the spring, you would’ve registered for your courses, you would’ve already looked at the course schedule, you would’ve met with your advisors. But that was not the case this year. And so we are having to do some planning and some work on registration this summer. This webinar is designed to share information about what is new to registration for fall courses, which begins next week, and to help you navigate a number of new features to this registration. I’m delighted to introduce our two guides who will be leading us in this webinar. But before I do, I would like to thank a number of people who have helped make this evening possible. Justin Hitt, Lenny Chen, and David Wright of Media Services, Tania Bolduc of Academic Affairs, and Debbie Cousino of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research. And now, our guides. Jenn Thompson is the registrar, and she and her team have been working tirelessly over the past months to ensure and enable us to be able to build a new course schedule in light of the pandemic. And Suzanne Gurland, who teaches in the Psychology Department, and is the Dean of Curriculum. Suzanne, along with Kathleen Parent, has brought immense energy and creativity to reenvisioning our courses for schedule for the fall. Just wanna state at the onset that we will be taking questions and answers towards the end. The early part is going to be a presentation from Suzanne and Jenn, which I know will prompt questions. You can start using the question and answer device you can find available to you. And that’s a way that we’ll be able to field questions. We regret to say that if you are watching this through a stream, you’ll not be able to use that function and ask questions in that way. I wanted to emphasize that we really are gonna be focusing on registration. There are other vehicles to discuss other aspects of the opening of the fall of the college. And we hope you’ll take advantage of those. And I also wanna note as a companion to tonight’s event is an academic forum for students, the returning students, running from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and you’ll get a chance to ask questions about specific courses from representatives of probably 50 or so departments and programs. So we really urge you to take advantage of that opportunity. As was noted before, this session is being recording and we will post it in case you wanna view it again or refer it to your friends. And now, Suzanne and Jenn.

- Thanks, Jim. This is Jenn Thompson. I’m so happy to see everybody was able to join us tonight. I’m gonna begin this evening by giving you an overview of the timing and tools that we’ll use for this round of web registration. As you may have already seen in your email, my office sent out a message yesterday afternoon with preliminary details about planning for registration. And we’re gonna walkthrough some of those details now. So the fall schedule is now posted. You can view the schedule in the usual places, in the online catalog at Go Catalog, on the course scheduling page, Go Courses, and of course in Banner 9 by clicking on the Browse Classes app. I just mentioned Banner 9. Some of you might’ve investigated Banner 9 already, and others of you may have actually used Banner 9 in the past semester to register. Banner 9 is an updated registration interface that introduces new tools to assist you with registration. You can access Banner 9 via the hyperlink in the planning to register email, or from our webpage by clicking on the Fall Registration menu and then Click Here to Register link. One of my favorite new tools is the Plan Ahead module. When you log into Banner 9, on your dashboard you’ll see the Plan Ahead app. Here, you can add course sections to a plan, save your plan, and then register from your plan when your registration access begins. Registering from a plan is an alternative to typing in or pasting in individual CRNs, like you’ve done in the past. But that still is an option as well. You can start building plans now, and you can make changes to your plans all the way through the web registration period. I do encourage you to check out the demo video, Building a Demonstration Plan, which is also found on our website and is linked in the email we sent yesterday. Building a plan is a straightforward and easy process, and I think that you’ll like it. This week is also the time to connect with your advisor to discuss your course options and plans for fall. Those meetings will be done remotely this summer, and your advisor will be reaching out to you with the details. So as we’re discussing, this week is about preparing to register, and next week registration begins. Suzanne, if you wouldn’t mind putting up our slide with the registration schedule. This schedule shows the days and times that students access web registration. And this schedule’s also linked in the registration planning email we sent yesterday, and it’s available on our website. As in past semesters, access to registration is based on credits earned, excluding AP. And this time the credit calculations are based on your through spring 2020 completed courses. There are a few differences this time around. First, as you can see, on most days two groups of students will access registration. Also all remote learners, regardless of the number of earned credits, will register on the first day, Monday, August 3rd. In order to be included as a remote learner and register first on August 3rd, you must notify your dean of your intent to be a remote learner by this Thursday, July 30th at five o’clock. Students who have notified their deans by this time will have their registration group changed to the Monday group. Here’s another change. Web registration is extended this time around, and it will continue through Friday, August 21st. So on the slide, you can see the times that students can first access registration, and then once you begin your registration access you can continue to make changes to your schedule, adding and dropping courses, moving things around, through August 21st. So you continue to make changes as seats are or become available. So that’s the basic timelines and the basics of the when and how of registration. If you have any questions about any of these timing or registration basics, you can put them in the Q&A box, and we’ll try to get to as many of them as we can at the end of our presentations. I’m now gonna turn the conversation over to Suzanne, who’s gonna walk you through the different course modalities for fall. Suzanne.

- [Suzanne] Thank you, Jenn. And hello, everyone. Now that you have an idea of the overall timing and tools for registration, let’s take a look at how courses will be offered and how to find the ones that work for you. So I’m gonna show you this document. First, the formats or modalities in which courses will be offered. There are two types of online courses, scheduled online and flexible online. When a course or section is described as scheduled online, it means there are at least some specific scheduled times when the course meets together virtually, for example, on Zoom. These courses or sections are available to on-campus students as well as to remote students. There’s no physical classroom assigned because the course meets virtually, but there are specific meeting days and meeting times. When a course or section is described as flexible online, it means there’s never a specific scheduled time when the course meets together. It’s entirely asynchronous, on your own time, unless you and your professor agree to meet on occasion. These courses or sections are available to on-campus students as well as remote students. There’s no physical classroom assigned, and there’s not even a specific time assigned, because you complete the work or engage with the material on your own time. There are two types of hybrid courses, blended and hyflex. A course or section that is blended has a mix of in-person and online instruction. A professor might decide to have the same mix of in-person and online every week, or change it up from week to week, or even have some weeks in person and other weeks online. These courses or sections are available only to on-campus students since some portion of them require students to be in person in a physical classroom. When a course or section is described as hyflex, it means in-person students and remote students are learning together at the same time. You can picture a physical in-person class taking place at the same time that the class is extended to remote students via Zoom. These courses or sections are available to both remote students and on-campus students. Finally, there are some courses or sections that are entirely in person. These are taught at a specific time in a specific room and are available to on-campus students. You might notice that I keep saying “courses or sections.” That’s because each component of a course has its own modality. For example, a particular course might have a flexible online lecture with different labs or discussion sections offered in a range of different modalities. These courses are sometimes described overall as being online lecture/multi-modal sections. I’ll show you an example of that in a few minutes. One final note about modalities. Regardless of the modality listed for particular courses and sections, all Middlebury courses will be online for the final week of the semester through finals period. And, of course, all modalities are subject to change if the public health situation changes. Let’s now look at how you can find the courses and modalities that work for you. Here’s the searchable course catalog that you’re used to, but with a couple of new features to notice. Let’s suppose I was interested in taking a course in English & American Literatures. I could choose that in the dropdown and click Search. And here’s part of the results page that I would get. Notice that the course modality is displayed. In this case, showing that ENAM103A is being offered flexible online, meaning there’s no specific scheduled time for lecture. I can engage with the recorded lecture or other materials on my own time. And showing that ENAM103B is being offered scheduled online. You can also see on the right side of the screen that a location, sorry, on the right side of the screen that a location and schedule are displayed. And these are logically consistent with modality. No time or room for the flexible online section. No room but a specific time for the scheduled online section. Also notice, though, that these are both lecture or seminar-type sections. And only lecture or seminar sections are showing in this list. That’s because when you go into the searchable planner, it defaults to selecting only lectures and seminars as the main parts of a course. If we go back to the search screen, we can uncheck the Lecture and Seminar checkboxes and click Search again. Notice also that if I wanted, I could choose to select by Course Modality and find, for example, all sections that are being taught as hyflex. But let’s go ahead and search English & American Literatures again, but without the Lecture and Seminar boxes checked. Now, we can see the results include discussions, labs, drills, or screenings associated the courses. I’ve highlighted here a part of the results showing two discussion sections. The modality for each is also displayed. And you can see that ENAM103X, the top one, is listed as in person, while ENAM103Y is listed as scheduled online. Here’s a pop quiz. Who’s eligible to take this course? Remote students, on-campus students, or both? The answer is both, since the lecture is online and there’s an online discussion as an option, a remote student could register for this course, just not for the in-person discussion. An on-campus student would be eligible to register for the lecture with an in-person or a remote discussion. A few more points to make here. Sometimes one section of a course is taught with discussions or labs, while another section of the same course is taught without them. You can see that in this example. The discussions are labeled as being specifically for ENAM103A. That’s Professor Losano’s section. If you register for ENAM103A, you have to also register for a linked discussion. If you register for one of the other sections of ENAM103, there are no linked discussions. You can see that in the regular course schedule as well. Here’s an example. And I’ve cropped out certain parts and blown it up here so you can see it a little bit better. There are three separate sections of ENAM103, A, B, and C, taught by three different faculty members, Professors Losano, Berg, and Brayton. The discussions are listed underneath those lecture sections. And as we noted, they’re labeled so you know which lecture or seminar they go with. In this case, all three discussions go with Professor Losano’s section of ENAM103. So if you imagine your way through this, a student might register for ENAM103A, which is Professor Losano’s flexible online lecture, meaning it’s kind of a flipped classroom. You’re watching or engaging with the lecture on your own time outside of class. And then you’re also registering for section X, Y, or Z, the discussions, one of which is in person, and the others of which are scheduled online. Or you might opt to take ENAM103 section B with Professor Berg, and that course would be scheduled online, and that would be the only part of it, the lecture main part of the course. And finally, you might select ENAM103C taught by Professor Brayton, which would be a blended course, and also does not have discussions associated with it. One final point I wanna make about this. We took a number of steps to accommodate remote learners located all around the world in a variety of time zones. Some departments and professors did this with particular courses by making sure electives or required courses were spread throughout the day, making sure that people in a variety of locations would be able to access them regardless of their local time. And some did it by offering certain sections that are labeled TBD, meaning to be determined. The idea is to have some sections that are exclusively for remote learners in time zones far from Vermont that will be scheduled after the fact to accommodate time zones as needed. Remote students are encouraged to enroll in one of the already scheduled sections where possible, but to rely on the TBD sections if they would otherwise be waking up in the middle of the night for the class. Now that you understand the course modalities and how to identify the sections that work for you, the registrar will talk a bit more about the details of registration. Jenn.

- Thanks, Suzanne. That was really good information with helpful examples of the course modalities. I thought we might take a little time now to dive into a few more of the details for registration now that we are having a pretty solid introduction to the timing and mechanics and then the course modalities. So first, alternate PINs will not be required for the web registration period of August 3rd through August 21st. As we said earlier, you should still plan to meet with your advisor, because this is an important step in your registration planning, but you will not be given, nor will you need, an alternate PIN when your access to registration begins. Here’s a change for fall. There won’t be any electronic wait-lists on courses in Banner. This is an experiment. Wait-lists are great, because they allow students to demonstrate their interest in a course to the faculty member. That’s their primary purpose, after all. However, we do know from experience that there are also challenges with Banner wait-lists. You might’ve run into this yourself. If a wait-list has been started on a course and a student later drops the course, opening up a seat, no student can register for that available seat, which can sometimes be frustrating. The compounding of this effect is that registration sometimes becomes stalled with students not able to drop a course so they can add another, and so on. So this time, in an effort to encourage course movement, meaning adding and dropping and schedule changes, during web registration, as students change their minds or make different plans, students can continue to register in courses with available seats. We’re hopeful that this change will benefit students in finalizing their schedules during web registration. What hasn’t changed is that some courses have restrictions like a prerequisite, or they may include or exclude certain class groups of students. As in previous semesters, if you encounter a course restriction that you do not meet but you’re interested in taking the course, you can and you should reach out to the faculty member of the course to request an override. Remember, you can view course restrictions by clicking on the CRN on the course schedule, or by clicking on the course title in the Browse Classes app in Banner 9. It’s always a good idea to scout out all course requirements before adding a course to your registration plan, or before trying to register for it when your window opens. More good news. There are no holds in this round of registration. All students have access to register for courses when your registration access begins. Now, here’s another change. In consideration of our social distancing and safe campus guidelines for fall, we will not be using green paper add cards this fall. Instead, upon the close of the web registration period and beginning September 4th, course changes, also known as add/drop, will take place in Banner Web. Beginning September 4th, students must be given electronic approval to register for a course. The electronic approval is in lieu of a faculty signature on an add card. We’re gonna give you all the details for this process in an email the week of August 10th. But I wanted to give you a heads-up that this change was coming. Okay, now I’m gonna hand it back over to Suzanne who’s gonna spend the last few minutes of our presentation talking about the changes to classrooms that you can expect when you come back to campus in just a few weeks. Suzanne.

- [Suzanne] Thanks, Jenn. Now, thinking about once the registration period is over, it will be time to start focusing on the start of the semester. For those of you who are returning to campus, you’ll notice a number of differences on campus that are designed to keep us all safe and healthy. One is in the physical layout and capacity of rooms. In order to maintain physical distancing, we needed to reduce the capacity of classrooms. Here’s an example. This is a schematic showing Axinn 229, which would ordinarily accommodate about 70 students. But this year, it will hold more like 30 in order to maintain a six-foot radius around each person. You’ll notice that desks are farther apart, and some extra furniture has been removed so you know where it’s okay to sit when you come in. As you can imagine, a class of 30 people can’t then safely crowd around doorways or in hallways. So we’ve added an extra five minutes to the passing periods between classes. This will allow for a slower, more orderly process of entering and exiting buildings and classrooms. And finally, you’ll notice signs posted to help guide traffic and remind you of health and safety precautions. Here are some examples of the kinds of signs you can expect to see, some of which are health and safety reminders like about wearing masks, and some are to direct traffic, letting you know where to wait when you’re queued up in line for something. Each room will have a capacity posted on it. And all of us will be paying attention to these signs to try to maintain our health and safety while we move about from classroom to classroom. That’s everything that we wanted to make sure to share. I’m sure you all have questions. So I’ll turn it back to Jim now for the Q&A part of the session. Jim.

- Something I wanted to bring forward ‘cause I saw a couple of folks asking it. In terms of registration, my understanding is those were Eastern time zones that were posted for the registration times. What advice are we giving to students if they happen to be working or have something else going on at that particular time to hold their spot, is that possible? Jenn.

- I’ll take that one. Sure, thanks, Jim. So a reminder that fall registration is open through August 21st. And one of the reasons we did that was to try to give students more time to choose your courses and to settle your schedules. So you have that whole period from when your window opens through August 21st to register. You might also consider asking a proxy to register on your behalf in real-time. Sometimes students do that. Or sort of as a last resort, if you would like to ask for our office’s assistance, you can do that. So we ask that you send us an email to request this option. And what we ask you to do is to build at least two registration plans in Banner 9 that we can use to register you when your window opens.

- Thank you. And the question, of course, that’s emerging about the add/drop period, which is something that is a time-honored tradition at Middlebury, and returning students clearly know it well, it’s clearly you’ve outlined that it’s going to have different qualities this year. But I think the critical thing is for students to know that they will still be able to, in a sense, move their schedule during that period in terms of their courses. Is that right, Jenn?

- Yeah, so following the web registration period, we’re gonna have a little break, and then the add period will resume on September 4th. And students can continue to make changes to your schedule during the add period just as you do in a typical semester. Like I said, the difference is that approvals will be given in Banner Web instead of on green add cards. Our office is working remotely, like many offices on campus. We’re not collecting green cards. We’re gonna use Banner Web as a tool for students to add courses. So students will be contacting faculty members asking for an approval. And once the approval is entered in Banner, they would be able to add that course in Banner 9, just as they did during the web registration period.

- Thank you very much. And now I’m gonna ask a question that came in about the course modalities. My understanding, and I was trying to see if I could find a spot, is that it’s, that sheet of modality is posted on webpages. I’m not exactly sure where. Suzanne or Jenn, do you know where to send somebody if they wanna study the modalities?

- [Suzanne] Yes, so the easiest place might be to find the email that I sent out that had the draft list of, a link to the draft list of courses and also had a link to those modalities. But you can also find it if you go to main fall ‘20 yellow banner at the top of the Middlebury homepage, and you drill down into FAQs about student courses, you’ll find a copy of the document there so you can review that more closely.

- Can I ask you another question as a followup, which is for the TBD sections, which were designed for remote learners, is there going to be a point where if they don’t fill up, other students could join those classes via that section that is listed as TBD?

- So some faculty have reserved only a small number of seats in a TBD section with the idea of then balancing out the enrollments. So if students have registered in other discussions or labs, they might then join the TBD one instead to balance out the numbers.

- Thank you. And then for registration, is there a trial run? Sometimes we’ve had that in previous years, but not this year, is that right?

- So in Banner 9, Plan Ahead replaces that round one setup that we used to have. So we encourage students to browse the courses in Banner 9, build registration plans, explore the courses. So that’s where you can preview, practice, and plan your schedules. Plan Ahead.

- Nice. Excellent. I notice this might be outside of your purview, but there’s been a couple questions about physical education classes as well. Any thoughts specifically on PE classes for the upcoming fall?

- Yes, I noticed that one question that came up in the chat was specifically about the PE requirement having been waived for seniors last spring, and whether that would continue to be the case this year, especially senior Febs. This year, the phys ed and athletics department has been able to offer a variety of PE classes, including some that are available remotely, and some that will be available in a flexible online sort of format where students can engage on their own time and their own schedule. So I don’t anticipate the PE requirement being waived. I anticipate it being fulfilled, but in a variety of creative ways that we haven’t always had in the past.

- Thank you very much. And I’m going, I’m seeing a range of questions. I’m trying to group some. Another one is about some students like to take a fifth class and exactly how you might do that in this particular semester.

- Yeah, so fifth classes can only be added during the add period. So not during that period from the 3rd to the 21st, but later when, after September 4th, when add opens back up. And again, we’re not gonna have orange cards either. So what a fifth course would look like is you need permission from the faculty member, of course. If there’s space in the course for you to add. And if they agree that there’s space for you, they would put in an approval in Banner. Then you also need permission from your advisor, and if you’re not a senior, from your commons dean. And we’ll collect all those permissions via email. So as the student, you’re sort of the air traffic controller. Bringing together all of those pieces for us and making sure that we receive them in the registrar@middlebury.edu email box. And once we have all the pieces and approvals that we need, we’ll enter that fifth course for you.

- There’s been a number of questions, Jenn, about Banner 9. I don’t know if it’s possible for you to share a screen to show us what it looks like. But there’s been some concerns about whether it might crash. That’s always a concern that students have. And some have asked why did we move away from the previous system.

- Here’s the main reason: performance. So Banner 9 is a better performing web tool. It’s more modern. The architecture behind the scenes, which is the really boring stuff, but the way the data is processed behind the scenes is more efficient. They reprogrammed that work behind the scenes, so that the overall product and your experience will be smoother and better. Those are the reasons. And just like any app you have on your phone, they upgrade, right? And so you can think of Banner 9 as the upgraded Banner Web. That’s really what it is.

- Thank you. And I’m moving around here as I’m looking at these questions. There’s a specific question, Suzanne, that goes back to modalities. And there is some confusion still about the blended modality. Can you say a little bit more so that students can better navigate whether they can take the class, what it actually means for their schedule?

- Yep, so thanks for that question. Blended courses, you’re gonna see a variety of different ways that that can look on the ground in an actual course. So some blended courses might have certain whole weeks, maybe even several weeks in a row, that are in person in a physical classroom, and other whole weeks that are online. Others, it might be that the professor says, “Every Monday and Wednesday we’re gonna meet in class together, but on Fridays it will be online.” And others still might be a little bit more of a mix, where each week the professor says, “I think for next week, it makes sense for all of us to meet together. But the following week, maybe we’ll be entirely online.” So it can take a variety of forms. The thing that I think you all need to know in terms of planning what courses are or aren’t available to you is that if you’re gonna be learning remotely, blended courses are not an appropriate choice, because at least some of the time they will be meeting in person in a physical classroom. But if you’re gonna be on campus learning, then blended courses are a way to get sort of a mix of different modalities within the same course. Does that get at, Jim, what folks seem to be asking?

- Yes, I think so. And I’m gonna follow that up in terms of modality, Suzanne, with a question about, use a specific class, this someone asking about the flexible online, and noticed that there was one time set, this is Physics 111, for a lab. And that time is interfering with another course that the students would like to take. So they can’t register for both. Is that an error? Can I register for both, they’re asking, but I’ll let you answer that one.

- First, I wanna make sure I’m clear on the question. Is it that the lecture itself seems to be meeting at the same time as one of the lab sections?

- I don’t have the specifics here. I’ll read it out loud. It says, “One class I’m interested in says ‘flexible online’ but it has a time set. Physics 111, labs 2:00 to 4:45 pm. The time interferes with another course I’d like to take so I cannot register for both. Is this an error? Can I register for both?”

- Ah, okay. I’m gonna make myself a note and look into Physics 111, because if it is genuinely flexible remote, it should not have a specific time associated with it. So I’ll look into that and get some clarity, and if you check back again in a couple of days you should see some change in the schedule.

- And another question is concerning courses that they’ve noted perhaps someone has suggested that there might be some discrepancy between what’s in Banner 9 and what is posted elsewhere? Is that something that we should be concerned about?

- I think there shouldn’t be. And so we would wanna know about those. So to the student who’s asking that question, if you could just send an email to registrar@middlebury.edu, we’ll look into that. It should be the same.

- Excellent. I’m looking here for, here’s a general question about, and there’s some questions about professors, and their ability within this registration period to have their own wait-lists and so forth. And as I understand it, what we’re talking about, Jenn, is there are gonna be no wait-lists this formal, and we’re not encouraging any other kind of wait-list for classes, is that right?

- Well, it’s true that there are no electronic wait-lists. It’s up to the faculty member how they choose to manage the enrollment in their course. But what we’re really hoping will happen is that if a student changes their mind and drops the course, then an interested student could just register, right? And so there wouldn’t be a need for a wait-list during the August 3rd to 21st, because everything is fluid then. There’s still changes happening just sort of organically, right?

- Excellent. Some people have asked for demonstrations of simulations of Banner 9. That’s not something we can do this evening, but it’s something that we’ll think about since people are focused on that technology.

- I wish I could, I wish I could, it’s just not set up for that, for that demoing right now. But remember, there are three videos posted on our website that give you a look at registration. There’s one in particular that shows you how to register from a plan. I encourage you to check that out. And you can get in there are use a couple of the apps now. So you can use the Plan Ahead feature now. You can browse the courses now. And those are two other videos that walk you through how Banner 9 works. So you can get in there and really explore a lot of what Banner 9 is now. And then if you want to, watch the video on how to register and you’ll know what to do when it’s time.

- Excellent, excellent. There’s some questions about locations, and I guess there are some rumors going around that there might be some outdoor locations for classes. Can you speak to tents, or is that part of our regime at the moment?

- There’s a committee of people who are examining the possibility of tents. That would be specifically for particular kinds of courses that require them. And we’re very sensitive to issues of equity and access, and very aware of the kinds of difficulties there can be with outdoor learning spaces. So, for example, for those with a hearing impairment, it might be quite difficult to attend class outside. So we’re trying to balance the needs for particular kinds of spaces against the needs for individual students to be successfully participating in the class. So no final answer on that yet, but it’s definitely being examined.

- And there’s also a question about taking MIIS courses that are available to students. How does that take place? Are there challenges for undergraduates taking graduate-level courses?

- Jenn is pausing, so I’m gonna try that one first. But Jenn, of course, if you have other things to say, please join in. So we have had multiple times in the past when courses offered at the institute or offered here have been cross-enrolled with Middlebury undergrads and students at the institute. And we take the lead of our colleagues at the institute on how appropriate a given course is. So, for example, some of the ones that are listed this year in the catalog are specifically for juniors and seniors only. And that’s because the faculty members of those classes have determined that a student would need to have a certain level of background or experience to be successful in the class. And there are others that are wide open to any undergrad in any year. And in terms of how to register for them, they’re listed, they’re in the course schedule. There’s a section called Middlebury Institute, and you can see the courses there. And there are I would say about a dozen of ‘em, maybe a bit fewer than that, and a handful of seats in each one. So check them out.

- Excellent. And one thing I thing that students should know is that we do have some classes that we would normally not have on our roster because of this unusual semester such as being offered by professors in our Study Abroad program. So there’s quite an array this fall. There are some specific questions, too, that are dealing with grading policy for the fall. What do we have to say at this moment to registering students?

- We have to say that we don’t have a definitive answer yet. Here’s where things stand on that. You might remember that during the spring semester last year, because we had to do this sudden pivot to online, some temporary policies were put in place to try to offer flexibility, recognizing that students were on very little notice needing to relocated, going to a variety of different settings that were more or less conducive to their learning. And so some temporary policies were put in place. The Faculty Educational Affairs committee is currently entertaining various possibilities for how the grading scheme might look come this year. They’re also in consultation with members of SGA, who also have ideas and suggestions for us about that. And as soon as we’re able to, we’d like to announce whatever that decision becomes. We feel very aware that in the spring it took awhile to settle on a policy and that that was unsettling for students. So we’re hoping to do better this time.

- Thank you, Suzanne. And Jenn, here’s a question that is about registration. How does a student know which registration group they are in since it’s determined by credits?

- Yeah, so there’s two ways. One is you can go to our webpage under the Fall Registration Dates link under the Registration menu on the left bar, and that’ll display that chart that we showed at the beginning of this webinar. And you can see how many credits you have earned and what day your registration access will begin. So you can kinda figure that out yourself. Just remember, AP credit is not included in that count. The second way is if you log in to Banner 9, and you click on the, let me get it right, I think it’s the Prepare for Registration app, you can click on that and it will tell you when your registration day begins.

- Excellent. Thank you very much. And this is going back, I saw a question, it talked about the add/drop period, and it’s clear that we are, as you noted about we’re having a period, but we are because of the pandemic and our response to it, students aren’t going to be able to move through classrooms at the beginning of a class to ask questions to the professors in the way they normally would. We just wanna emphasize that we’re gonna have different protocols that are returning to campus. And so one of you wanna just speak more to that reality with the drop/add period.

- I can start, and then maybe Suzanne has more to add with that. So yeah, that’s right. Because of the social distancing guidelines and the safe campus guidelines, it’s not gonna be like a typical fall semester where extra students could join an in-person class, listen in on the first day, perhaps, and then approach the faculty member and ask about adding. The reason is because classrooms have very strict capacities, right? There isn’t room for extra people to come into a class unless they’re registered. And so instead what we’re saying is that students have to contact the faculty via email during that add period and request permission to add. And only if you’ve been given permission to add and you’ve actually added that course to your schedule should you go to an in-person class. That’s our recommendation based on the social distancing and everything that we need to do this fall on campus. Now, it could be that if the course is fully online that that faculty member has a different approach to adding. And faculty members will decide that. And so if you’re trying to add a course that is online but it’s full, we encourage you to email the faculty member and just ask what they prefer. How do they prefer you see about adding their class? Some may say, “Here’s our Zoom link. Please join us on the first day and we’ll talk about it after.” Some may say, “Let’s talk if I have an extra seat available.” So it would be up to the faculty member for online courses.

- Thank you. And I’m seeing a huddling again of Banner 9 questions. Will Banner 9 enable students to be able to check on prerequisites for classes? And so that’s a function that they can expect in Banner 9.

- It does. Here’s the limitation. So the good news is you can read the prerequisites for every class in Banner 9 by clicking on the title, and then a little menu pops up with all the different categories that belong to the course. You can see the description. You can see any course prerequisites. You can see any other course restrictions, that kinda thing by reading it. But Banner 9 will allow you to put any course you want on your plan. It doesn’t check your academic history to ensure that you’ve met the restriction. So it’s important for you to do your homework there, and to read the course restrictions, and make sure you’re eligible to register for it when you put it on your plan, so that when your window opens you’ll be able to register.

- Excellent. Just noticed there are also some questions that are going into the chat, and I’ll just see if, I just received one that there’s a specific course that was mentioned that doesn’t seem to register as having credit hours or show up on Banner 9 planning calendar pane. Can either of you speak to that?

- Yeah, send us an email. We wanna take a look at it.

- Okay, alright, alright.

- Thanks for finding these things.

- Excellent, so there’s been a couple other folks who have mentioned that there might be some discrepancies. So we’re learning as we do this webinar. And that’s part of why we wanted to do it.

- That’s right.

- This is a broader question. Someone referenced that they had seen the broad announcement about schools, public schools in Vermont, and was that gonna affect the college and its opening. And what I was gonna add is that there were guidelines that were put forward for institutions of higher education, and those are the guidelines that Middlebury is closely adhering to. Anybody else wanna say anything else on that? No? Okay, good. Let’s see here. I’m just looking for questions that go into grounds that we haven’t yet. There’s over 70 questions, so bear with me. One thing, if a course is designated as full by the time someone makes it to registration, registering for classes, is the only way to find out if space becomes available by checking the online schedule catalog, or will there be, so there won’t be any automatic notifications, is that right?

- That’s right.

- But that’s been sort of typical from the way things have been in the past, right?

- Right.

- To be kind of relentless in looking. Okay, excellent. There’s a question here. How do you register for a class you don’t have the prerequisites for but the professor’s allowing you to take it?

- Yeah, so you should email the professor, and if they agree, yes, you’re qualified to take this course from some other experience you have, they should put in overrides for you. And faculty can do that. And so if it’s a prerequisite course that you don’t have that specific course, they could put in a prerequisite override. If the course normally excludes seniors for whatever reason, but you’re a senior and you really wanna take the course and the faculty member agrees it’s appropriate for you to take the course, they would put in a class override. And so that’s the way to do it. If you’re looking at the restrictions, which is really good planning, and you notice that you don’t completely meet the requirements of the course, reach out to the faculty member and ask for an override. And they could decide yes, or they could say, “You know what, I really wanna wait until the sophomores have a chance to register. And come back at me later and we’ll make a decision.” But that’s the way to do it.

- I’m looking here as we’re talking, coming back to Banner 9, there’s been some more comments. People, I think, have been using it. Someone comments on having used the Plan Ahead feature to build schedules and noticing that they’re finding, for example, if they look at, to try to build a schedule, they’re looking at psychology courses for the fall of 2020, it shows me available options, but most of them say “Not offered for the term.” That just simply means what it is. It’s not offered for the term, is that right?

- Yeah, here’s the reason. The Plan Ahead feature shows you the whole catalog, right? It shows you every psychology course we have on catalog as having been offered. And the “Not offered this term” is your clue that, you know, it’s not a course that’s available to you for the fall. So you only wanna look for courses that say “View sections” I think is the button.

- And then just a followup on that, since I have not been into Banner 9, the modalities, there’s some reference that they’re not as clearly listed as they might be, is that something for students to be concerned about?

- The modalities are viewable, and I think a lot of Banner 9, your screen is customizable, so you can resize columns, you can hide columns, you can reorder columns and things like that. So play around with the formatting a little bit, and I think you should be able to see the modalities. But if you need some help with that, definitely reach out to us and we’ll help you with that.

- And another followup on Banner 9. If a student’s planing to be remote, but their registration day is one that coincides with credits earned, what do you do? I think you mentioned what you should do earlier, but probably good to restate it.

- So we are updating every day. When students are declaring to their dean that they intend to be remote, we receive that information and we update students records accordingly. There could be a small backlog. And so I would give it a day or two. And if you don’t see a registration group change, definitely shoot us an email and we’ll look into it. But we’re making those changes on a daily basis as we get the information about students who are declaring their interest to be remote with their dean.

- Thank you very much. And here’s a broader question about registration, and it’s a question about equity. If students find themselves in a position where they are concerned about their quality of their internet, and therefore might run into difficulties registering in as quick a fashion as they would like, do we have any advice?

- Yeah, I think it goes back to the advice we had for the student at the beginning of the question and answer period which is you have until the 21st, so you have that whole window of time to add courses to your schedule. You can always ask a proxy who maybe has better internet access to help you out with that. Or you can also ask for our office’s assistance, and we would ask you to reach out to us with an email if you’re asking for that assistance this time around.

- There’s one question of someone asked about auditing classes this upcoming year. Is there any thought on that?

- My take on that, and Jenn I hope you’ll jump in if I get this wrong, is that we would use our typical procedures for auditing courses with the recognition that because of the limited room capacities and health and safety considerations, we can’t have an extra person physically in a room. So it will likely be easier to audit a course that’s an online course than to audit one that’s an in-person course or a blended course or a hyflex. Hyflex, if you were gonna join it, audit it online, would probably be fine. But we can’t have extra people physically in the rooms.

- Thank you.

- In terms of the mechanics, we’ll do it on email, right? So no green add card, so you can’t mark up an add card for an audit. It would be the instructor putting in an approval in Banner that we can see, and you sending us an email, and we will register you as an auditor in the class if you’ve been given permission.

- Excellent. And Jenn, can you explain again the no hold?

- Yeah, so sometimes students have a hold that interrupts their access to web registration. One example is a financial hold. If you have an outstanding balance, you might have encountered a financial hold. There have been other holds like evacuation holds or health and wellness holds. And so if you haven’t done certain things that were on your checklist when you came in as a first-year student, you might have had a hold. And the reason isn’t to stop you from registering, it’s to get you to do the thing that you’re supposed to do, right? But this time because we’re scattered all over and registration is quite different this time, we just didn’t want anything to get in student’s way of registering for courses. And so for that reason, we’re suspending all holds. There’s no holds. Holds will not impact any student’s registration. And it could be that most students never encountered that, and that’s great. But for students who may have encountered a hold in the past know that there will not be any holds this time.

- And here’s a broader question that just came in which is, roughly what percent of students are coming back to campus versus going remote this fall? It seems like roughly a 70 to 30 split between online and in-person courses. And I’m wondering if that is a reflection of how many students are studying remotely versus in person.

- I’ll take a little bit of a crack at that one. The 70/30 split that was cited doesn’t strike me as consistent with my thinking, but all of this depends on how you count. My own accounting shows that about 50% of courses are entirely online, and the other 50% have at least some in person. That is not a direct reflection of what students have opted to do in terms of coming back or learning remotely. The vast majority of students are, as of this moment, intending to come back to campus. And one way to think about that, and maybe these details aren’t interesting to you, but they’re interesting to me, is the, it was impossible to get the timing perfect, right? So we needed to determine which courses which would be offered in which modality before we knew what all of you were intending to do in terms of coming back or reenrolling remotely. And you all were having to make decisions about what to do before you knew what modalities the courses would be offered in. So it was kind of this iterative process of a little bit more information from each side and a little bit until we kind of landed at a place where these are the courses we’re offering, and the vast majority of students are intending to come back to campus.

- Thank you, Suzanne. I’m looking at the time and I think we’re coming up on our hour that we intended to. I’m gonna say a couple of words, but I wanna give a chance before I close out, is there anything else you wanna add, Suzanne or Jenn?

- No, I just wanna thank you for this opportunity to talk about registration with students, it’s great. And again, you know, if you have individual questions that we didn’t get to, just give us an email. We’re happy to answer them.

- And we noticed quite a few questions where we’ve tried to answer as many, well, we tried to group these questions. If we feel like we haven’t covered the ones that we might have, we will try to find a way to make sure that information gets to you. Though, a lot of the questions are coming in, we don’t know exactly who from. I should also say there’s a number of questions that I would say are particularly specific. And I think the academic forum is a wonderful time for those of you who have asked those questions, say, about language school, you’re currently in language school, and where would you place that kind of question, to go to the academic forum and ask representatives from the particular departments and programs who will be able to give you clarity about their specific domains, and also about the courses that are being offered in their programs and departments. So I really encourage you, in the emails, we’ve given you the link. And tomorrow, we will be putting up the passwords and the Zoom invites, so that you’ll be able to, in a sense, do a traditional academic forum, much like you experienced in your first year, but this is for returning students. It’s the first time we’ve ever done this. And you’ll be able to move about. We have, as I said, about 50 departments and programs between the period of 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Some departments are going to be there for the full time. Some will only be there for an hour, and others for two hours. But that will be a chance for you to move about, just like an academic forum, the traditional arena of academic forum, you would move and wait in line to have a chance to ask a faculty member a question. Now you’ll be able to go into various Zoom rooms and ask specific questions. We hope you will do that. Again, I wanna give my thanks to Suzanne Gurland and Jenn Thompson for their presentation and all their work that they’ve done and their teams, and making sure that we’re at the point we are as you’re about to select classes. And as you can see from what they described, many things are different from how we normally have done it. We’re so glad that you attended this session. We hope you will pass the word on to your friends who might have missed it that this is important to do a little homework, certainly meet with your advisors before registration. And we will be posting this. We don’t know quite where it’s going to go. Most likely it’s going to go on the college COVID site, and probably with a link to the register’s office as well webpage. But we’ll get that information out to you. And so I’d like to close with a thank-you to everybody for this forum. And good luck with registration. And enjoy the rest of the summer. Take care, everybody.

- And thank you, Jim. And students, we look forward to seeing y’all back here when you get here.

- Bye-bye.

Classrooms

All classrooms have been adjusted to reduce density and allow for physical distancing. A COVID-19 Safety Max Occupancy is posted at each classroom. For health and safety reasons, we all must strictly adhere to this adjusted occupancy at all times and for all activities held in the space.

Classroom furniture has been adjusted to match the COVID-19 Safety Max Occupancy and to allow for all students and faculty to maintain physical distancing during class. Additional furniture may not be brought into any classroom. In spaces with fixed seating that cannot be relocated, seats have been modified to allow use only of specific seats to ensure proper physical distancing. Any changes to the furniture or capacity of a space requires advance approval from the COVID-19 Event Review Team.

If a classroom has specific ingress/egress issues, directional signage has been posted to show the proper flow in and out of the room. Plexiglass shielding or other barriers will be considered for a space if physical distancing cannot be maintained or if a specific activity in a space requires it. Requests should be made through Facilities Services.

Assessments of classroom ventilation are in progress in conjunction with outside engineering and industrial hygiene resources. Control strategies are specific for each building and space (for example, increasing fresh-air exchange, updating HVAC filters, adding portable room air cleaners, etc.) and are prioritized to reduce long-range airborne transmission.

Custodial Services will clean and disinfect classrooms daily. Common spaces, including bathrooms, and high-touch points in the building will be disinfected two additional times each day. Disinfecting supplies (wipes or spray disinfectant) are provided in each classroom to allow faculty and students to clean individual surfaces (podium, tables, desks, etc.) upon arrival and departure from the classroom.

Face coverings must be worn during in-person instruction in classrooms. Students should minimize bringing personal belongings to the classroom and keep all personal belongings in their immediate vicinity. Students should sit in the same seats for each class to assist in the event of contact tracing.

Sciences

Science labs have been evaluated and assigned a COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy to allow for students and faculty to maintain physical distancing. The adjusted occupancies are posted for teaching labs, research labs, and instrument rooms. Any changes to the capacity of a space requires advance approval from the Sciences Technical Support Services (STSS). 

Specific work tasks may require faculty, staff, or students to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a dust mask, disposable medical mask, N95 respirator, or other respiratory protection. Individuals who perform this type of work will change out of a face covering into the appropriate PPE prior to performing the task. A hazard assessment is required for any tasks that do not allow for physical distancing. In these situations, barriers or additional PPE may be required, such as a disposable mask and face shield.

Visual and Performing Arts

All the spaces used for the visual and performing arts will be evaluated and assigned a COVID-19 Safety Maximum Occupancy rate to allow students, faculty, and staff to maintain physical distancing. These adjusted occupancy rates are posted for the classrooms, studios, labs, critique spaces, and storage rooms for the visual arts and for the classrooms, rehearsal spaces, performance studios, concert hall, screening rooms, theaters, and equipment rooms for the performing arts. Any changes to the maximum capacity of these spaces requires the advance approval from the Arts Technical Support Services (ATSS).

Performing arts activities will follow a phased approach. For example, in campus quarantine (Phase One) only no-contact activities are allowed and all activities require physical distancing and cloth face coverings. Subsequent phases will be evaluated as the pandemic and local health conditions evolve, and specific planning is under way for activities such as singing, dancing, playing instruments, extracurricular activities, etc., which includes a risk assessment and safety plan.

Specific curricular, cocurricular, and extracurricular activities in the arts may require students, faculty, or staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a dust mask, disposable medical mask, N95 respirator, or other respiratory protection. Individuals who perform this type of activity will change out of their face covering into the appropriate PPE prior to performing the activity. A hazard assessment is required for any activities that do not allow for physical distancing or that involve the use of tools, instruments, and other equipment. In these situations, specific procedures and barriers or additional PPE such as disposable gloves, masks, or face shields may be required.