Due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the region and similar actions being taken by other universities across the country, Marshall University will be transitioning more fall courses to Virtual delivery than originally planned. President Jerome Gilbert informed the Marshall community of the changes in an e-mail earlier this afternoon.
In the e-mail, Gilbert said, “As you likely know, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Friday signed an executive order allowing all West Virginia colleges and universities to reopen for the fall semester.
“This is excellent news, as it allows us to continue plans to return to our “new normal” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate Governor Justice’s trust in our reopening plan, his commitment to everyone’s health and safety, and his leadership in helping to make the arrangements to test our students.”
He added, “This transition will allow us to continue to monitor the status of the pandemic in our community, further reduce density inside our classroom facilities, and preserve, as much as possible, the important on-campus experience for our freshmen. It also will give us the best possible chance to move forward safely, while providing a quality educational experience and flexibility for all our students.
“The Virtual mode of instruction we will provide … is different than the strictly online options many universities are moving to, and we believe it gives our students a distinct advantage.”
Virtual class sessions are held live via the university’s learning management system Blackboard, with instructors broadcasting lectures and leading classroom discussions at the specified class meeting day and time. Sessions are recorded so students who do not have reliable access to broadband and/or other technical difficulties can watch the class at another time.