Instructional Readiness

(Updated: 07/28/20)

When we originally planned the fall 2020 schedule, we had very different expectations for college and university life from what we now anticipate. However, that schedule is the basis for our preparations, and we will hold to it as much as possible as we adapt to reduce opportunities for viral transmission.

Face-to-face classes will resume in August, but not all classes will be offered face-to-face. Teams are assessing physical arrangement of the rooms, mode of instruction, ventilation, entry, and exit. We’re considering course type, priorities, and demand in determining which courses will be offered in which formats. Our goal is for instructors and students to have options that help meet their teaching, learning and safety needs. Our Academic Technology team has created FAQs, workshops, and other resources to help both faculty and students get the most out of their online teaching and learning experiences.


 

Classroom Spaces
(Updated: 08/26/20)

Classrooms will be reconfigured to allow for students and faculty to satisfy social distancing requirements. Seating configuration will allow for a minimum of 6-foot separation, measured from center mass, to reduce the risk to public health in accordance with CDC guidelines. Modifications to learning space include:

  • Closing classrooms too small to allow for social distancing
  • Implementing alternate classroom furniture configuration, to include
    • Restricting and removing seating to maintain 6-foot separation
    • Clearly identifying available and restricted seating
  • Adding signage explaining social distancing
  • Identifying directions for one-way foot traffic
  • Limiting and identifying entrances and exits to rooms

More than 200 classrooms have been reconfigured to meet social distancing requirements for our largest courses. More classrooms are being assessed and readied as possible.

In order to maintain social distancing measures under CDC guidance and accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a modified maximum capacity for each classroom has been identified and clearly posted by Facilities & Services. This reduced capacity must be strictly observed, and modifications to seating in classroom spaces are not permitted.

Our classroom spaces are being modified to provide additional protection for instructors, such as acrylic barriers, microphones, and technology to facilitate remote teaching.

To reduce congestion in buildings, instructions will be posted about entry and exit paths and to discourage students gathering in hallways, lobbies, or using elevators unless necessary. Teaching spaces will be disinfected regularly to reduce COVID-19 spread. In addition to disinfection by Facilities & Services crews, NMSU has installed about 1,300 sanitation stations, and disinfectant wipes will be available for students to clean their spaces before and after use, similar to the model commonly used in gyms and fitness centers.

For concerns with classroom layout, supplies, cleaning, or other space issues, the first step is to speak with the building monitor or department head. If work is needed to address a problem, email AskFS@nmsu.edu and include COVID-19 in the subject line, or call the work order desk at 575-646-7114 and identify a COVID-19 related issue. 

At the Las Cruces campus, several outdoor instructional spaces will be created using tents, and additional temporary shade structures will be set up across campus to provide areas for students to rest outdoors between classes while following social distancing guidelines. Once classroom tents are installed, instructors should contact their department heads for scheduling.

In addition to outdoor areas, many indoor lobbies and spaces with seating have been modified or labeled to promote appropriate distancing. These include:

  • Ed and Harold Foreman Engineering Complex Lobby
  • Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center
    • Open Computer Lab
    • Upstairs Wireless Lounge
  • Pete V. Domenici Hall Lobby
  • Breland Hall Lobby

As tents are installed and additional spaces are prepared, they will be added to the NMSU COVID 19 Las Cruces Campus Map, available on our Facilities & Services Space Planning page.


 

Classroom Technology
(Updated: 07/28/20)

ICT worked with the colleges to identify and upgrade technology in about 40 classrooms on the Las Cruces campus. These modifications will allow classrooms to be used for hybrid synchronous online delivery. Faculty will be able to use Zoom to broadcast their classrooms sessions to the students that are not physically in the classroom, as well as record the lecture for future viewing.

ICT and Facilities & Services are collaborating on equipment installation and are working with the Registrar on classroom scheduling for the fall semester. ICT and Instructional Innovation & Quality are also working with instructors to support Zoom and other technology in the classroom.

Computer labs at all NMSU system campuses have been modified to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and many have remained open throughout the spring and summer. At the Las Cruces campus, general use labs are available in Hardman-Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center, Corbett Center Student Union, and Vista Del Monte. Hours are subject to change, but labs are scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday beginning Aug. 15. Hours and availability of other departmental computer labs may vary.

In addition to wireless internet access available in campus buildings, AggieAir wireless hotspots can be found in many outdoor locations around the Las Cruces campus, including green areas, food courts, parking lots and bench seating areas.


 

Instructional Delivery Models

Adding flexibility to instructional delivery allows options to incorporate social distancing and provides the ability to move instruction to partially or fully online platforms, if necessary, due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Some definitions:

  • 100% online asynchronous delivery: Students complete work independently, on their own schedule, no matter what time of day. Students are given deadlines by which they need to login and complete assignments.
  • 100% online synchronous delivery: Classes occur on set schedules through remote delivery. Students and instructors are online at the same time, and lectures, discussions, and presentations take place at specific hours. All students must be online at that time in order to participate in the class.
  • Hybrid (online with required in-person attendance): Content delivery incorporates more than one modality, e.g., face-to-face and remote synchronous or asynchronous delivery. Face-to-face attendance is limited and may include alternating in-person and online synchronous or asynchronous attendance; may also provide recordings of lectures or experiential components for later reference to supplement concurrent transmission of lectures or experiential components. All students participate in all delivery modalities.

  • Flex (NMSU-Grants Campus): Students can choose whether to attend face-to-face or remotely via synchronous video conferencing tools. Face-to-face attendance is limited and may include alternating attendance options; may also provide recordings of lectures or experiential components for later reference to supplement concurrent transmission of lectures or experiential components. Students may not participate in all delivery modalities.

Schedule types that you’ll see in my.nmsu.edu include:

  • HY: Online with Req In Person Mtgs (online with required in-person meetings)
  • ONL: Online with Synchronous Mtgs (100% online w/synchronous meetings)
  • WB: Online no Synchronous Mtgs (100% online asynchronous)
  • CL: Classroom/Lecture (fully in-person)
  • LB: Lab (in-person labs)
  • IND: Independent Meeting
  • PC: Practicum/Clinical
  • TD: Thesis/Dissertation

Our classroom spaces are being modified to provide additional protection for instructors, such as acrylic barriers, microphones, and technology to facilitate remote teaching.

To reduce congestion in buildings, instructions will be posted about entry and exit paths and to discourage students gathering in hallways, lobbies, or using elevators unless necessary. Teaching spaces will be disinfected regularly to reduce COVID-19 spread. In addition to disinfection by Facilities & Services crews, NMSU will install about 1,300 sanitation stations, and disinfectant wipes will be available for students to clean their spaces before and after use, similar to the model commonly used in gyms and fitness centers.


 

NMSU-Main Online Courses
(Updated: 07/28/20)

NMSU-Main online classes that were originally developed for a fully online delivery will continue to incur the per-credit fee indicated in the class schedule course listing during registration. If this fee is indicated for a class, students will pay that fee. If it is not, then no matter what happens with the delivery model for that course later in the fall semester, no fee will be added. Courses may not be switched to an S/U grading option after the deadline to elect that grading option solely based on a change in delivery mode.


 


NMSU-Online(UO) Courses

NMSU-Online classes that were originally developed for a fully online delivery will continue to incur the UO per-credit tuition rate indicated in the class schedule during registration.


 


Special Note for Students in Clinical Programs and Operations

Special precautions are required for students and faculty in clinical and other programs (such as nursing, allied health, athletic training, communication disorders, band, or student teaching). These precautions are unique to each program and are guided by the program’s accreditation or governing authority, as well as medical and public health guidance. The university will provide oversight of these arrangements as appropriate.