Eastern Ontario universities move toward more online courses in fall

Local university students are learning more about what the courses they'll soon be registering for may look like.

U of O planning for as many courses as possible not to require students to be on campus

Tabaret Hall on the sparsely populated University of Ottawa campus on May 7, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Local university students are learning more about what the courses they'll soon be registering for may look like in the fall as officials grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many students, it may mean learning online at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

After some post-secondary officials spoke last week about the uncertainty around the fall semester, more schools across Canada are sharing firmer plans.

  • Post-secondary students: We want to hear what's on your mind as you get into summer courses and/or fall registration. Send us an email.

They include the University of Ottawa, which said Monday it's offering a distance-learning option for as many fall courses as possible so students who can't — or don't want to — come to campus can still sign up.

Registration for fall courses starts next week.

University officials said the school will offer in-person courses if possible. If a course ends up being able to go ahead on campus after students have signed up to take it online, they can still take it online.

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And the school says it's working on "innovative solutions" for courses that require students be there in person.

Some services at Carleton University could resume over the summer, but officials are telling students and staff to prepare for online learning in the fall. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Carleton may restart some services in summer

In a report also released Monday, Carleton University said staff and students should "intensively prepare for the likelihood that courses and programs for Fall 2020 will be delivered online."

The university has put together a team to assess different pandemic scenarios, and that team expects some research, library and student services activities may be able to start up again over the summer.

Registrations for some fall courses begin early next month.

Queen's and Saint Paul universities have said they're preparing to offer courses without bringing students to campus, while the Université du Québec en Outaouais and Algonquin, Loyalist and St. Lawrence colleges say they are working on fall plans.

A sign at the campus of Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) in Gatineau, Que., advises that summer classes are underway, just not in person. (Hugo Belanger/Radio-Canada)

Post-secondary schools moved courses online as pandemic restrictions against gatherings were tightened in March.

School budgets are jeopardized if many students decide to take a year off, including international students dealing with travel bans.

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