Nova Scotia

Cape Breton University continues with online classes into winter

David Dingwall, president of CBU, said the school has to consider the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

University hopes in-person classes will be back for summer 2021 semester

More than 5,000 students are registered for online courses at Cape Breton University. (George Mortimer/CBC)

Cape Breton University will continue online classes through the winter semester when it begins in January.

The campus will remain mostly closed with limited exceptions where in-person learning is essential.

David Dingwall, president of CBU, said the health and safety of students, faculty and staff are first and foremost.

"We think our decision for the winter is the right one," he said.

More than 5,000 students are registered for online courses at CBU. Dingwall said many of those students are international, so that factored in the decision.

"We have a large cohort of our students which are international and there are quarantine provisions they would have to abide by, so we thought it would be in the best interest to stay online," said Dingwall.

Courses available on smartphones

Dingwall said faculty worked over the summer months to design an online learning platform that would work for students all over the world. The faculty also had to do some online training.

When CBU originally moved online at the end of the winter 2020 semester, students could only access online courses from a computer. Now they will also be accessible by smartphone.

Dingwall said there have been some challenges along the way, but the school has been on top of it.

"The corrections happen almost instantaneously," said Dingwall. "We have IT facilitators which are assigned to the various classes to make sure students and professors are well connected."

CBU is hoping to return to in-person classes for the summer 2021 semester.

With files from Wendy Bergfeldt


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