Desks spaced out in the Furman Hall classrooms

Academics & Classrooms

Course Formats

Building Hours & Study Spaces

A majority of the classes this fall will be offered in-person, in our FurmanFlex format, which combines face-to-face (F2F) and remote learning. Furman will also offer online courses to provide alternatives for students and faculty who require health accommodations.

If you are enrolled in a FurmanFlex course, you can expect the following:

  • Course listings include a classroom location and have a designated time for synchronous class meetings.
  • A portion of students will attend face to face at the scheduled class time: F2F Students
  • A portion of students will participate in the class remotely:
    Remote Students include:
    -Sophomores and Juniors (at least until Monday, September 14).
    -Students with concerns and/or circumstances preventing a return to campus
    -International students who are unable to return to the US
    -Students in quarantine
  • Students may shift between F2F and Remote designations throughout the semester as circumstances dictate.
  • For both F2F and Remote students, instructors have designed their courses to be engaging and accessible and in accordance with Furman’s high standards for instruction and engagement.

If you are enrolled in an online course, you can expect the following:

  • Course listings will indicate “ONL – ONLINE” as the class location and have a designated time for synchronous class meetings.
  • Class will be taught online for the duration of the semester.
  • Classes will retain scheduled meeting days and times and will be offered as synchronously as possible.
  • A portion of students will be living on campus
  • A portion of students will be living elsewhere
  • Unlike last Spring, when faculty had one week to pivot from in person to virtual, this Fall our faculty have been preparing all summer for teaching in a virtual environment. They have been able to prepare their courses proactively, with a significant emphasis on creating environments where students interact both with their instructors and other classmates in a synchronous format.

Schedule Adjustments

Room locations and course start and end times are being adjusted to allow for reduced density in classroom buildings and hallways and to allow students time to sanitize their workspaces.

MWF courses will begin at 8 a.m. and are 50 minutes in length for standard course periods. The MWF schedule will allow for 20 minutes between classes.

TR courses will begin at 8 a.m. and are 75 minutes in length for standard course periods.  The TR schedule will allow for 30 minutes between classes.

Changes in course start and end times will preserve the integrity of existing student schedules; however, a small number of courses may need to be split to accommodate smaller classroom density.  Students will be notified by the Registrar if they are shifted into an alternative section and may make adjustments during the course adjustment period.

View the drop-add schedule online. As always, students are encouraged to proactively communicate with their academic advisors about course schedule changes and their progress towards degree completion.

Fall Meeting Times

Meeting Period Days Start Time Original Start Time Updated End Time
A MWF 8:30 a.m. 8 a.m. 8:50 a.m.
B MWF 9:30 a.m. 9:10 a.m. 10 a.m.
C MWF 10:30 a.m. 10:20 a.m. 11:10 a.m.
D MWF 11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:20 p.m.
Advising MWF 12:30 p.m. 12:40 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
E MWF 1:30 p.m. 1:50 p.m. 2:40 p.m.
F MWF 2:30 p.m. 3 p.m. 3:50 p.m.
G MWF 4 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 5 p.m.
H TR 8:30 a.m. 8 a.m. 9:15 a.m.
I TR 10 a.m. 9:45 a.m. 11 a.m.
J TR 11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:45 p.m.
K TR 1 p.m. 1:15 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
L TR 2:30 p.m. 3 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
M TR 4 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 6 p.m.

Classroom Modifications

The planning team has developed a strategy that decreases class sizes and spreads out class locations to reduce density and to allow for greater physical distancing. The university invested nearly $1 million in cameras and other technology, which has been installed in nearly every classroom to support remote teaching, as necessary. Here is a short video demonstration of the new “remote ready” features of the classrooms.

All students and employees are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when in campus buildings unless a specific exception is granted. Cloth face coverings should include at least two layers of fabric that fully cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face.

Classrooms, labs, and studios have been arranged to ensure appropriate physical distancing and other preventative measures. Additionally, there will be designated traffic flow patterns throughout all academic buildings to ensure appropriate hallway densities.

Labs

Prioritization on student and employee health and safety makes participating in traditional lab environments more challenging within the limited laboratory room spaces. Many curricular lab experiences will continue as planned, but in physically distanced and adjusted environments (lower density, required face masks or face shields). However, some lab-based courses will transition to an online format for the duration of the Fall semester. We recognize that the necessity of participating in labs in a virtual format will create non-trivial alterations to that experience. We, however, are confident in our instructors’ ability to adapt and provide an effective learning experience similar to that which would occur under normal circumstances. Instructors are using a number of approaches to deliver engaging, virtual laboratory experiences to meet this goal. These innovative elements range from professional simulations (e.g., SimBio and Labster), posting videos of laboratory procedures along with data files that students analyze using appropriate statistical tests, customized Moodle activities in which students view photos/videos of specimens and complete interactive questions, to leveraging large online data sets for students to mine and answer important scientific (including public health) questions. Notably, instructors are finding and using a variety of course-specific tools to create virtual laboratory activities that achieve the necessary learning goals. Thus, if you need to take lab-based courses in an online format for any portion or the entire semester, we are confident that you will receive a valuable learning experience that will effectively prepare you for future academic and career pursuits.

Health professional schools are aware that student academic and experiential preparation will be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  The vast majority have already committed to allowing adjustments to curriculums and course delivery mechanisms when reviewing applications and assessing fulfillment of pre-requisite courses. Health professional school applications have been updated to include a section for applicants to make COVID-19 impact statements. Students applying to health professional schools should contact Dr. Banisaukas, who can provide specific information to those schools regarding online course and laboratory substitutions due to COVID-19 while at Furman.

CLP

The Cultural Life Program (CLP) engages students in a spectrum of issues, ideas, and artistic expressions from various disciplines and cultures. All students are expected to attain the requisite 32 CLP credits for graduation. For Fall 2020, the vast majority of CLP programs will be hosted in an online-only format to ensure remote learners may access them. Each event will have clear guidelines and expectations for attaining credit, which will be communicated to potential attendees.

As in years past, individual students and student groups can propose CLP events. To do so, please work with a faculty sponsor to develop and submit your event proposal.  Review the event and proposal guidelines.  Online events that are being hosted by other sources (e.g., a webinar presented by a research institute) can be proposed, as long as an effective system for checking attendance can be implemented. Please be aware that proposals for CLP events will be accepted starting September 1, with events beginning later in September.

Students can view their current CLP total in MyFurman. Returning students should note that four CLP event credits have been awarded for the Spring 2020 semester.

Support Services

The university will continue to offer academic and student support services, along with engaged learning, advising, mentoring and career services. Students can expect that many meetings will be conducted via Zoom to allow for social distancing and reduce risk while eliminating the need to wear face masks during meetings. The Faculty Development Center continues to work closely with our excellent faculty to help ensure courses are robust in their delivery and content, regardless of the format.

Eating and Drinking During Class

  • For students who feel they must have access to water during class, they must use a personal bottle with a sealed lid and a self-contained “straw” or similar device for drinking the liquid by vacuum rather than “pouring” into the mouth.
  • No other beverages and nothing that can be spilled from an open container creating a bio-hazard for others will be allowed.
  • The straw or similar device should be of a design that it can be slipped under the face covering to take a drink.
  • Faculty can use water bottles of similar design (self-contained “straw”).
  • Individuals should not eat in classrooms or academic buildings unless there is a medical emergency/medically approved necessity, and in those cases the individuals should separate themselves from others at distances of greater than 6 feet. The exception is faculty and staff may eat in their offices alone with the door closed.

Examples of appropriate water bottles:
Example of an appropriate water bottle with a straw Example of an appropriate water bottle with a straw

The university will closely monitor the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, along with rapidly developing scientific knowledge and medical resources, to determine the appropriateness for adjustments and contingencies. For general questions about the fall semester, please email furman.focused@furman.edu.