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Academic FAQs

For Current SPHTM Fall 2020 Academic Plan Click Here
When will classes start?

Classes start August 19th

Where will classes take place this fall?

Most in-person classes will be held on the first floor to alleviate pressure on building elevators, which will be limited to two people per elevator. Classes will be held in the Diboll Auditorium, the Gallery, and Room 105. We may also look into other nearby locations for classes if needed. The school has also been working on improvements to flood protection on the first floor, which will continue throughout the summer.

All foundational courses will be taught fully online for the fall semester, except for one section of SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health.

Will students be able to choose how they take class? Will students have to request an accommodation to access a course fully online?

SPHTM will have on-campus courses this fall with the option of attending via Zoom. SPHTM will allow students the flexibility to chose how they will attend class. If they intend to use a fully online option, they need to inform their instructor. We do not require a special form or approval.

The move to the HyFlex Model will allow a great deal of flexibility, including the opportunity to participate in class fully online. There will be adequate space in each classroom for physical distancing, based on 2019 enrollment numbers).

How do I receive ADA Accommodations?

In addition to the recognized ADA accommodations, COVID may trigger additional considerations. If you feel you need an accommodation for any reason, you should contact the Goldman Center. The university recently sent out a form for requesting ADA accommodations that you may use.

A point of clarification: The university recently sent an e-mail indicating that students needed to submit an ADA form to attend class online. This notification was sent university wide, and some schools do require a form to attend class online. To clarify, SPHTM is not requiring that your fill out this form to attend hybrid classes using the online modality. However, this form is needed if you seek an ADA accommodation.

Will international graduate students in SPHTM be allowed to attend online courses to continue their studies outside the U.S. in this fall?

Yes, if a student is not able to come to class, faculty and program staff will work to help the student complete their courses fully online.

Will there be fewer discussion boards with the HyFlex model?

Discussion boards might be part of a HyFlex model, but it’s not the only way faculty are changing courses to create interaction. There are many ways instructors will engage students with course material online, including writing blog posts, creating podcasts, and doing video recordings rather than only written discussion posts. Faculty are learning more about how to get creative with their online and HyFlex classwork.

For group work, will the students who prefer to be in class work together and the students who decide to be on Zoom work together?

Perhaps. It's really up to the individual faculty member and will depend on what works best for the course. Faculty have been attending trainings all summer and are really focusing on pedagogy and hybrid teaching. Group work may also be structured outside class time.

Will the software we use for class be available remotely, such as STATA/ SASS/ SPSS/ GIS/ Nvivo? Will computer labs be available?

Access to these applications can be made available to courses which require them. Professors teaching courses that require the use of STATA/SAS/SPSS/GIS/NVivo need only to submit a list of their student's Tulane email addresses to and we will grant access to those users. We will also provide instructions on how they can access these programs from off campus. In addition, SAS and SPSS are available for free to our students at Labs will be open with social distancing guidelines from the university in place.

Will the 12th floor computer labs be available?

The computer labs will be available for individuals to work, using physical distancing. Classes that use the computer labs will be online using software in the cloud.

What new technology will be used in the classrooms this fall?

There will be microphones and cameras to show the classroom and you will be able to see those online. We will add in TA support to help with this technology. There will be enhanced tech support and faculty can sign up for courses to learn about this technology. We are developing online training for TAs for the technology. There will be a Canvas resource site for students. This will prepare them for Hyflex class and how to use the technology.

Will there be an online white board available to students?

Yes, Windows 10 has a whiteboard application that will be available to students and faculty. We are adding touch screens to classrooms.

For once-a-week courses, especially upper-level courses, how do professors plan to ensure the quality of learning is not compromised?

Much work has been put into ensuring the quality of learning. Faculty have attended training to convert the course to the hybrid/online format. This training will prepare them for fall classes and we think will actually make classes even better than before. In addition, all of the teaching space has upgraded technology to support Hy-flex teaching and learning. The infrastructure has been enhanced and resources put on Canvas sites to prepare students to be ready for this new approach.

In the HyFlex model, there will be one hour of in-person with optional Zoom class time each week. The remainder of the time will either incorporate Zoom sessions during the regularly scheduled time or asynchronous assignments.

How will the Hy-Flex/hybrid courses work?

SPHTM is incorporating best practices while providing flexibility through the HyFlex/hybrid approaches that will be used in the fall. We are looking at ways to make this challenging situation into an opportunity to improve our courses, enhance learning and applications and critical thinking. In this model, students will need to complete work prior to class and be prepared to participate in interactive discussions, exercises and case studies. Students will have the flexibility to do some work on their time schedules and more effectively use classroom meetings for enhancing learning. This approach will require active participation in the classroom sessions. These changes are not just a way to get through the COVID limitations; rather, they are an opportunity for SPHTM to better utilize technology as a teaching tool, which has been discussed for a while. We seek to incorporate a forward-looking approach that will enhance learning and applications and keep us in the forefront of public health education.

Will classes consist of the same amount of time?

Instructional time will be the same, although it will incorporate a blend of in-person classroom time, zoom sessions and asynchronous work. Classes will be shortened from 75 minutes to 60 minutes with the remainder of the time completed in asynchronous assignments. The shorter, in-person class time will allow time for students to leave the classroom, have the room disinfected, and have the next class arrive. Classes will be shorter, but students get the full 45 hours of instructional time through other activities assigned by the professor.

How will lab rotations work in the fall?

Laboratory rotations will be worked out by the department with social distancing in mind.

What happens if students choose to take a leave of absence?

There is already a procedure for this, no matter the reason. Contact student affairs,, in order to get the form for this.

How will exams work?

All end-of-semester final exams will be online.

Are there any plans to extend the work and teaching week beyond five days to the full seven days?

Yes, we are looking at that, but we are first trying to see if we can keep classes to five days a week. If we have to then we will look at this option. We’re also looking at holding classes at other locations outside of Tidewater.