What to expect in your Spring 2021 classes

Learning a language is challenging under the best of conditions. Doing so in the midst of a global pandemic during which we have to keep our distance from each other and cover our faces can seem particularly difficult. Language use requires communication, contact, and personal exchange, which the world of Covid-19 makes hard indeed.

The faculty of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is dedicated to its students and their success. We have been working hard since last year to develop strategies to help students continue making progress in their chosen language and culture areas. Classes will be rigorous and robust, but also innovative and flexible. Faculty will be available and ready to help answer student questions and provide guidance.

In order to meet the differing needs of our students and to ensure that our courses are of the very highest quality during Spring 2021, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is offering roughly 50% of its classes entirely online and 50% in a hybrid modality.

** If you would like further details about your specific class in Spring 2021, please contact your instructor directly.

What will classes be like?

  • We have divided our courses into two modalities: fully online and hybrid. Each instructor is working hard to determine exactly what this will mean, but all will follow a basic structure:
    • Fully online courses will be taught entirely remotely. They will likely have synchronous meetings during some or all of the regularly scheduled class meetings. These meetings will be conducted via Zoom and will allow for community-building, interaction between students and instructors, and speaking practice if a course goal is to build language skills. Outside of class time, you will work through activities on Canvas designed to meet course learning outcomes with full support from your instructor;
    • Hybrid courses will also have a lot of learning materials on Canvas but will have some in-person meetings. These in-person meetings will follow CDC and university health guidelines: 6 feet between each person in the room and required face coverings (both nose and mouth) at all times. This may affect the number of students who can attend each meeting: in this case, instructors will devise a rotation that gives each student time in the classroom. In-person meetings may also be supplemented with Zoom meetings at which attendance will not be limited.

How will I get help?

  • Instructors will be available during regularly scheduled times on Zoom for you to drop in, whether you have specific questions or just want to listen to what others are asking. For discussion of confidential matters or other issues, you can also request a one-on-one meeting with your instructor. Your instructors are always there for you;
  • Your instructor may also use Canvas discussion boards, announcements, or email to provide help;
  • Students are also encouraged to check out Academic Coaching (https://www.uky.edu/acadcoach/) which is a great resource for students to make the most of their academic experience at UK;
  • Instructors may also be able to recommend more advanced undergraduate or graduate level tutors or mentors, sometimes through language clubs.

How will exams be given?

  • Exams will be given online through Canvas. We have been giving computer-based exams for many years, so the only change is that students will be completing it in separate locations. Measures are in place to maintain academic integrity;
  • Students will have the chance to complete practice activities similar to what will be expected on exams to make sure all hardware and software is ready to go prior to their first exam.