Officials say remote learning will ‘most likely’ continue in fall

University President David Wilson says little will change until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed

University+President+David+Wilson+greets+students+on+the+first+day+of+the+fall+semester.+

Courtesy of Morgan State University

University President David Wilson greets students on the first day of the fall semester.

Jordan D. Brown, Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, university administrators have prepared models for remote instruction in the fall as the likelihood of Morgan State and other colleges returning to face-to-face instruction next semester seems low. 

University President David Wilson said he will announce his official decision for the fall semester within the next three months, but added that remote learning will most likely continue, according to a press release. 

“Very little will change until a vaccine for COVID-19 has been developed,” he said.    

The planning models include the continuation of the current virtual learning protocol, beginning the semester later in the fall while applying social distancing protocols and reopening the campus on its original date.

When the university transitioned to online learning this spring, all student events were canceled or moved entirely virtual. Students are eager to return for the fall semester and aren’t looking forward to the continuation of online learning.

Mister Freshman Nathan Keesee, an architecture major, feels like he will miss opportunities to establish relationships with classmates and experience difficulty learning new material. The recently elected Mister Sophomore also expressed concern for students who live in different time zones.

“As a stem major, I feel like I do not have most of the materials or the information that needs to be learned in my classes,” he said. 

Instructors like Sociology Professor Angela Howell, believe the if the university proceeds with online instruction in the fall, it will be a smoother transition. 

“We have the whole summer to tool up and plan,” Howell said, “Faculty will have time to think about things that worked this semester, things that didn’t work, things they had to do in a certain way, but now there will be more thought and planning for the next semester.”  

All summer courses have transitioned online, along with all orientation programs and open houses. 

To prepare for the future of the upcoming semester, Wilson appointed 32 members of the Morgan community to serve on the Special Remote Instruction Committee. The group will assess the experience of online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester to improve the virtual teaching and learning experience.

The committee was selected among students and faculty members to reflect the diversity and differences among the schools. Each department will be represented by a chairperson, dean, or student to get recommendations for remote instruction and serve as the voice for their community. 

Jada Grant, a junior computer science major, is a student representative for the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences. 

“The undergraduate students are trying to make sure our student body’s voices are heard,” she said. “Our goal is to make the best recommendations on behalf of the entire student body.”

Grant, along with the other student representatives within the committee, created a google form to get feedback from students on their adjustments to online learning and life during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alliyah Moore, Graduate Student Association president, will represent her association on the committee. 

“The committee is going to collect our experiences during this whole process and that will help decide how the University will move forward; any corrections that need to be made or any areas that need to be addressed,” she said.