Virtual options could stick around at University of Alaska Anchorage

A student wearing a mask works on his laptop at the Consortium Library on the University of...
A student wearing a mask works on his laptop at the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage's campus.(Taylor Clark)
Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Back to school for college students at the University of Alaska Anchorage is right around the corner on Aug. 23. Life on campus will start to return to normal; however, masks will be required in classes and there will still be a lot of options for online learning.

According to Vice Provost of Student Success Claudia Lampman, students like online options, and they will be more present as the university continues to make its way through the pandemic.

“Most of our students tell us now — and pre-pandemic — is that they want a mix,” Lampman said. “They like the flexibility of having some online courses, but they like the face-to-face courses. Especially for those classes in their major or the ones that are most important to them.”

Lampman said there would be about a 50-50 mix of online and in-person course work, but students will be able to tailor their schedules to how they want to receive their education for the most part.

She said that most classes will continue to be available online. Although there are some courses that it isn’t possible; for example, Lampman said welding courses.

In individual courses, students don’t have to choose one or the other when it comes to online or in-person either. Lampman said a class could be a little bit of both if a student wants.

“If it’s maybe a Tuesday-Thursday class, they may meet in person one day a week, and either online or have an asynchronous online component for the other day a week,” she said. “So for the student, it’s really a little bit face to face or a little bit of a zoom synchronous course mixed with some work on their own.”

As far as getting into the classes, the push to virtual learning has actually made things more efficient.

Lampman said with UAA being a commuter college in many aspects, and its students having obligations like work and families, advising appointments will continue to shift toward online models for student convenience and efficiency.

However, they will still offer traditional advising appointments in person on campus this year as well.

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