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Academic Delivery Options

There’s no specific playbook for navigating the academic experience during a pandemic, but there are options and resources available to help you learn and thrive. For many students, that means being on campus (albeit with an extra dose of caution and care), taking courses in a hybrid format and being part of campus life; for others, it means attending fully online from home. Learn how to select the best option for you.

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What are my options?

You can be a full-time or part-time resident/commuter student or a full-time or part-time remote-only student.

Residential Learning

Resident/commuter students are on campus regularly throughout the week. They can have a mix of in-person and online courses, but they are physically present.

Residential Learning

Remote-only students never come to campus. They are only accessing their courses online (through digital-live feeds or in the designated ONLN courses) and are not in campus housing, commuting to campus or accessing any campus facilities.

What should I know before I decide?

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We expect resident/commuter students will be attending in-person class sessions unless otherwise indicated by the course instructor (e.g. classroom rotation schedule, temporary instructor isolation/quarantine) or because the student themselves is in hold/isolation/quarantine or shifts to remote-only and no longer attends in person. Academic departments have strongly encouraged all courses to have a digital-live connection for every course period, meaning a live feed of the course lecture.

Classroom safety
All in-person classrooms will be reduced in capacity and set up for social distancing. All students and faculty will be required to wear masks and participate in safe classroom practices during in-person instruction in campus facilities. Guests and visitors to classes doing in-person instruction will not be possible.

Classroom rotation
Courses that have more students than can be seated in the assigned classroom may be placed on a classroom rotation schedule. For example, some students may be assigned an in-person attendance day (such as Monday for a M/W/F class) while on that same day a portion of the class accesses the course in a digital-live format, meaning they’re tuning in from their residence halls and are not physically present in the classroom. Then on Wednesday, the group assigned to digital-live Monday will switch to attend in person, and the Monday in-person group will be assigned to digital-live. On Friday, the assigned rotation continues or the faculty may host that section in another format. Each course may have its own rotation. Instructors will make these classroom rotation schedules and communicate them to the rostered students in the course. Students can note these rotations in their personal weekly schedules.

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A student considering being remote-only should carefully review their courses and format as well as the other options in the spring course schedule to weigh the impact on their academic progress in their program(s). Please consult with your academic advisor before making the switch from resident/commuter student to remote-only. This switch may also have financial implications.
Remote-only students will be listed on each faculty course roster as remote, so the instructor knows they will not be coming to campus at all. (This is different from resident/commuter student temporarily attending class solely through digital-live because of a hold, isolation or quarantine.)

Tips for making the transition to online learning ➔

What are the catalog designations and how do courses work?

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Courses without notations on the spring course schedule are in-person and in-person with classroom rotation. This is the primary course model for most courses. Instructors in these courses have all been encouraged to have a digital-live feed for each class session since both the classroom rotations and the occasional one-off student who cannot attend for isolation or quarantine requires that digital access option. These courses are synchronous, meaning they meet at the time listed. For the most part, they should also be accessible to the remote-only learner, but there are exceptions, so students should always confirm with the department or the instructor.


In-person requirement (§).These are listed on the spring course schedule with a “§” character next to the location. These courses have a required in-person component and are not available to remote-only learners. Most, if not all, natural science lab courses have in-person requirements.

Online courses have the following codes in the spring course schedule.

  • ONLN ASY – Asynchronous. These are ideal for remote-only learners and are also available to resident/commuter students as spaces are available. They offer fully independent learning through Canvas and do not meet a specific time or location on campus.
  • ONLN SYN – Synchronous. These courses meet fully online at the time listed in the course schedule. They are good for remote-only learners if those students are able to adjust to Eastern Time schedule.
  • ONLN HYBRID § – Hybrid. These are online courses with an in-person requirement for some activities (such as labs). They will not work for remote-only learners.

How do I notify Gordon of my choice?

Notify Gordon of your spring semester plans with the “2021 Spring Residency Intentions” form found on the “Academics” tab in your my.gordon.edu account. If your situation has changed since submitting your form, you may resubmit.

Residency Intentions Instructions

Can I change from in-person to remote-Only partway through the semester?

Classes with an in-person requirement cannot be completed remotely. These are listed on the spring course schedule with a “§” character next to the location. These courses have a required in-person component and are not available to remote-only learners. It will not be possible to continue taking these courses if you choose to switch to remote only instruction. Other classes can be completed remotely.

Will I receive a room or board refund if I transition from in-person to remote only partway through the semester?
As laid out in the 2020–2021 financial guide and in the student handbook, students may be eligible to receive a full or partial board refund following the schedule found on page 13 of the 2020–2021 financial guide. Room refunds are not offered after classes begin.

Where do I get help?

Financial implications of residential or remote learning: , 800.343.1279
Housing or residence life changes: , 978.867.4263
Academic Program advice:

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Have questions?

COVID-19 Resource site ➔