Online Education

COVID-19: Some universities in Quebec are planning to start the school year remotely, others are considering it

The University of Montreal (UdeM) has decided to maintain distance learning until at least January 17, without waiting for the new directives from Quebec, which currently authorize students to go to classrooms from January 10. Other universities are preparing their side for a remote start.

“We will continue our remote activities at least until January 17,” UdeM rector Daniel Jutras said on Thursday. The decision was made “by analyzing all the information available to date and taking into account the interests of our community: health and safety first, but also the need for predictability”.

It will therefore be largely taught remotely as soon as classes resume on January 6. The next update will be sent no later than January 4th, with the aim of providing an update after January 17th, depending on how the situation develops. Internships, clinical activities, practical activities and laboratories will continue to be face-to-face and most services will remain open.

In an update sent Thursday afternoon, Laval University is asking the university community to “prepare to activate a backup plan.” So the first three weeks of the winter session could be remotely, from January 10 to 30. “The purpose of this temporary emergency plan is to ensure the safety and health of our community members and to protect the continuity of teaching and research,” we write. Students will be informed about the procedure on January 5 at the latest.

The University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) is also planning to postpone the return to classes. For now, the return to face-to-face meeting has been maintained at January 10, but the university says it is aware that the situation is changing “by the hour”. “After yesterday’s extraordinary meeting of the study committee and the board of directors [mercredi]for the planning and scheduling of teaching preparation, measures will be taken in the coming days to clarify the nature of this quarter and to inform members of our community,” he says in an email to Have to Spokesperson Jenny Desrochers.

In a message sent to students that Obligation consulted, the vice-rector for academic life at UQAM, Jean-Christian Pleau, mentions that “all teaching activities” could be online by January 23. “If such a change were to occur, it would be announced on January 3 at the latest,” he said.

At Concordia University, distance learning is scheduled until January 13. “We will closely monitor the situation and consult with public health authorities,” the spokesperson wrote. We will make a new assessment in the week of January 3″.

In an email sent to the address Have to, the Ministry of Higher Education specifies that the instructions will be sent to institutions “around January 3”. The Ministry “intends to react quickly in the event of a change in direction” by the public health service. “If an institution is giving its student population a different orientation than what is currently recommended by public health, it may need to reevaluate that orientation in early 2022, depending on the update that is made,” we wrote.

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