Urgent Message COVID-19 Updates »

Coronavirus Updates

For the most up-to-date news, please see the University’s official COVID‑19 information webpage.

Academic Calendar and Course Modalities

The Academic Calendar for fall 2020 has been updated with the goal of preventing the potential spread of COVID-19 through students leaving campus for an extended period of time at Thanksgiving and then returning to campus afterward. Here are the highlights:

  • Classes begin Monday, Aug. 17.
  • The last day of classes is Wednesday, Nov. 25.
  • Reading days are Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
  • Take home and online final exams will be scheduled from Dec. 2-8.

The University of Texas at Dallas will offer five different modalities of learning for fall 2020. The form of instruction for any individual course will be based on class enrollment, room availability, and faculty preferences. However, an asynchronous option will be provided for all courses.

Course Modalities

  1. Traditional Classroom/Laboratory Course (i.e., face-to-face) – The instructor and students are present in the classroom/laboratory each class meeting according to the class schedule. The availability of courses in this modality will be limited due to classroom availability.
  2. Blended (Hybrid) Classroom Course – Online activity is mixed with face-to-face meetings in the classrooms. The instructor and students meet all together face-to-face one or two days per week. The face-to-face meetings are accompanied by online instruction.
  3. Flexible Mode Course (i.e., HyFlex blended learning) – Online activity is mixed with classroom face-to-face meetings. UT Dallas is implementing a student group rotation model, wherein faculty deliver instruction face-to-face in the classroom during each class meeting, and students attend class face-to-face one day per week. Students will attend class online with synchronous (i.e., in real time) transmission when they are not in the classroom face-to-face.
  4. Remote/Virtual Course – Instruction is delivered online in real time according to the day and time in the class schedule (i.e., synchronously). The instructor delivers the instruction from home or the office. Students complete the course at a distance. [Note: These courses are traditional classroom courses that faculty are offering virtually in fall 2020.]
  5. Fully Online Course – These courses are designed with the truly distant student in mind. Students complete the course at a distance.

Asynchronous Access

  • All courses, regardless of modality, will have asynchronous (i.e., not in real time) access so that students who cannot or choose not to return to campus can take their courses online.
  • Syllabi, course assignments, class recordings, etc. will be posted in eLearning so that they can be accessed by students outside of scheduled class time. Syllabi must also be posted in CourseBook in compliance with state law.
  • By incorporating asynchronous access into every course, faculty and students will be prepared to transition off campus if required by COVID-19.

Student Action

The fall 2020 class schedule is being updated to reflect the modality of each course. As those course changes are made, students will receive an email that outlines the new class information. If they would like to do so, students will be able to make changes to their schedule according to the academic calendar.

Online Resources

As a reminder, there are numerous online resources available to support virtual teaching and instruction. Preferred platforms are those already in use at UT Dallas, including eLearning (including Blackboard Collaborate) and Microsoft Teams or Webex conferencing. Other technologies that faculty members already use for their courses may continue to be used, but they should not try to acquire new technologies.

In addition, the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning is regularly providing webinars to help faculty transition to virtual learning.