University of Guam to start year with mostly online courses

HAGATNA — The University of Guam has announced that it will offer most courses online for the upcoming semester to limit the spread of COVID-19 because of surges in case numbers.

“In certain cases, limited-contact hybrid courses will be available and, only when it is absolutely required, face-to-face classes will be offered,” university Senior Vice President Anita Enriquez said.

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The semester is scheduled to start Aug. 18 and the first day of classes is the following day.

The university implemented enrollment caps for online classes and will continue standardized courses through Moodle, a free learning management system, the Pacific Daily News reported. Virtual tutoring will also be provided.

Students will also be able to choose pass, credit or no credit grading options instead of traditional grading.

Lab-based courses and some graduate courses requiring students to meet with a team or complete research in their respective fields will be allowed.

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“Classrooms have been re-arranged with strict social distancing protocols, and instructors may rotate student attendance to facilitate safe learning environments,” Enriquez said.

The announcement came five months after it transitioned to online courses. Faculty and students are more comfortable with online courses now, said Jonas Macapinlac, the university’s chief marketing and communications officer.