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Below you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions related to Fall 2020 academics – information that includes the four types of classes being offered (and brief descriptions of each type), the difference between online vs remote classes, tutoring resources to help you ace your classes and more. International students can view additional guidance by visiting the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) FAQs. For health-related information, please visit our Health & Safety section.

Before the Semester Begins

You can check your Fall 2020 schedule by logging in to your MyFIU to see how your classes will be offered (in-person, hybrid, remote or online). Due to physical distancing restrictions in the classroom, very few classes will be taught in-person at FIU this fall. The majority of classes will be taught via remote or online course instruction.

Dual enrollment students should follow the same protocol as FIU students.

BBC’s MAST Academy is following the Miami-Dade County Public Schools calendar.

What to expect for Fall 2020

FIU’s top priority is your safety and the wellbeing of our community. Following that, it’s your education. From changes to physical spaces on campus to offering different ways to you to take classes for safely, we’re doing everything we can to responsibly serve you and our community in the Fall 2020 semester.

The 4 ways: In-person, hybrid courses, remote, fully online

Understanding your options

As mentioned in the section above, this fall you’ll be able to choose from four class formats: in-person, hybrid, remote or online. Each of the four ways to take classes has different expectations and requirements of students. 

You can use filters to specify course modality when you search for classes. Also, the Class Notes section contains important information. When you click on the course, you’ll find its delivery method indicated in Class Notes. If a course has a physical meeting location, then it is on campus (in person or hybrid). 

In-person classes will take place on campus at set times with changes in classroom layout and seating to accommodate for physical distancing requirements. In-person classes may use Canvas.

Choosing an option that’s right for you

Seventy percent of FIU’s fall schedule – that’s literally thousands of classes – is being offered either remotely or online, and many of the on-campus classes also have online or remote sections.

If you’re worried about coming to campus, you should choose remote or online classes only. (Remember, there is a distance learning fee associated with fully online classes. There is no distance learning fee for taking a remote class.) Just be sure that the classes you need to take are being offered in either of those two formats because not all classes are able to be offered in all four formats.

Check your program of study and/or your Panther Degree Audit to see what other courses you might take if a course you want is not being offered via remote or online formats in the fall. If you can’t find a replacement course or you need to take a specific course this fall in order to graduate in Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or Summer 2021, please contact your advisor.

Attendance is expected in remote classes on specific days at specific times. You need to schedule your remote classes so that meetings do not overlap at the same time and day. Please reach out to your advisor for assistance.

If you’re still having difficulty with your fall schedule or cannot make an appointment with your advisor, please visit AskCharlie.fiu.edu for additional information and to request additional assistance. 

If you are an international student, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program has temporary exemptions for the Fall 2020 semester. Learn more about temporary exemptions. You should also contact the FIU Office of International Student & Scholar Services.

The difference between remote and online courses

There’s a substantial difference between remote courses and online courses.

  • Courses utilizing remote instruction were originally designed to be taught in face-to-face or hybrid environments. These courses have been redesigned temporarily to be able to allow students to continue their studies without the need to come to campus. 
  • Many of these remote classes may still have students and faculty meeting together virtually at specific times (synchronously).
  • Faculty have implemented multiple solutions to meet the immediate teaching needs of remotely communicating with students and delivering course content, assignments and announcements. Some of the technology being utilized include Zoom, Canvas, email, social apps and other technology tools.
  • There is no distance learning fee for taking a remote class.
  • To access any support related to your course delivery, many resources and trainings are made available to you at canvas.fiu.edu.

Graduate courses

For both graduate and undergraduate courses, it’s up to each individual program to decide which format courses will be offered in.

Research labs

Research labs will be open in the fall (many have remained open throughout the pandemic). Approval for lab openings will only be granted through a request to the Research Office. The approval process requires a safety plan that includes physical distancing, which inevitably will reduce the number of people in a given lab at a given time, as well as the wearing of face coverings and other required Personal Protective Equipment.

Teaching labs will also be required to have safety procedures. Those are in the process of being developed in the same manner as classrooms.

Online tutoring

Tutors in the Center for Academic Success (CfAS) have transitioned to remote operations. Tutors are available for online tutoring sessions through Zoom.

For general information about how to get started with remote learning, check out the Student section of the Canvas Help Center.

Tutoring is also available remotely from the Center for Excellence in Writing.

Individual Appointments 

The following procedures are for individual appointments ONLY.

  • Email  cfas@fiu.edu with the following information
    • Name, Panther ID, email,  course, and desired date and time
    • Please include 2-3 other appointment options in case the day and time is already scheduled
  • An email confirmation will be sent with the tutoring session information and the tutor’s Zoom Personal Link ID.
  • On the day of your session, go to  fiu.zoom.us
  • Sign in with your  FIU student credentials
  • Select “Join A Meeting”
  • Enter Meeting ID or Personal Link ID

TLC Workshops

TLC workshops are being conducted through ZOOM. The following procedures are for TLC workshops ONLY.

  • Your TLC facilitator will email you the Meeting ID for the session.
  • Go to  fiu.zoom.us
  • Sign in with your FIU student credentials
  • Select “Join A Meeting”
  • Enter Meeting ID or Personal Link ID

Tutors are strongly encouraging students to use a laptop or desktop computer since mobile devices do not include all features provided by Zoom.

Frequently asked questions

  • If I can't find a class that fits in my schedule, can I still do transient?

    You can take courses as a transient, but you should check with your advisor first about any specific requirements or approvals needed. If you are taking classes at FIU and another institution, you will need to complete the concurrent enrollment form. If you are going to take all classes elsewhere, it would be the consortium agreement. Visit OneStop for important information.

  • Will the law school hold in-person classes in the fall?

    Some classes at the College of Law are currently scheduled to be held on campus, either as in-person or hybrid courses. Please check the color-coded course schedules (1L and upper-level) and the FAQs found at the COL Registrar webpage for more detailed information.

  • For classes that require field hours, are they still going to be required?

    That answer is specific to each course. Please contact your department.

  • For online labs, will we need to supply the materials, or will it be held as virtual lab simulations?

    In most cases, all of the lab work will be virtual or with some sort of in-person lab boot camp/workshop at a later date. In the case that materials are needed, faculty have arranged for students to pick items up safely from FIU. It is not likely that you will need to supply any lab materials on your own, but be sure to read your syllabi as soon as you get them to ensure you have all that you need for your courses.   

  • Do you think it is possible to get the same learning experience for a laboratory online? Under the circumstances, would it be more appropriate to waive some classes for those due to graduate?

    FIU asked faculty to identify laboratories that must have a face-to-face component and those lab classes are either being offered on-campus in the fall or faculty have designed special, zero-credit lab “boot camps” that can be offered later in the semester and/or in small, physically distanced environments. For other labs, faculty have found commercial and/or non-profit virtual simulations and have built lab experiences around those. 

  • Will all the classes that are in person or hybrid be recorded? 

    There is no guarantee that recordings of lectures or other class activities will be made available. This is why it’s very important to maintain open communication with your faculty during the term. If you think that a recording will be beneficial to your learning, you may want to suggest this to your professor. Something like, “I really want to be able to pay attention to what you say, but I’m having a hard time doing that and taking notes. Could you please record our classes and post them in Canvas?” Note that some faculty may be hesitant to do this because other students may have requested that they not be recorded.

  • What will happen with programs that require internships and/or practicums?

    Since the requirements and approved accommodations vary for each program, we recommend that you reach out to your program or academic unit contact as soon as possible to confirm how they will be handling this.

  • Due to new guidelines and having a limited amount of students per class, will they add more sections for labs for students during the fall semester? 

    We are continuing to work with departments to ensure that there are seats available (either remotely, online or in-person) for students. If you’re not able to find a seat in a course you need, please contact your advisor first as they can help identify potential alternative courses. If you still need assistance, please visit the Askcharlie.fiu.edu for information and to contact Charlie for help. He’ll be able to check on the possibility of additional seats or alternative arrangements. 

  • If I am a commuter and contract the virus, will I be able to switch to remote learning until I test negative and then switch back to in-person learning?

    We have asked all faculty who are teaching in-person classes to have options for students who may temporarily need to be absent from class. You will technically still be enrolled in your on-campus course but will be able to complete work remotely. Please work closely with your professor to ensure you have access to the information you need while you are not able to be in the classroom. If you test positive for COVID-19, the Panthers Protecting Panthers app will generate instructions for you to follow before returning to campus. 

  • Will the spring semester offer more in person or hybrid classes, or does FIU believe that remote classes will remain for the 2020-2021 school year?

    At this time, we are expecting to be fully back on campus by spring, but we continue to monitor the situation closely.

  • Will attendance be mandatory for in-person classes?

    If you registered for an on-campus course (courses that are listed as “In-person” or “Hybrid”), you will be expected to attend your in-person class. If extenuating circumstances arise once the semester starts, communicate with your professor as soon as possible.

    For your safety and those around you, you should take only remote or online classes in the fall if you have family members who are in high-risk health categories. You shouldn’t have a problem registering for a full schedule of classes since over 70 percent of courses in the fall will be offered remotely or online with a large number of on-campus classes having remote or online sections. Check your program of study and/or your Panther Degree Audit to see what other courses you might take if a course you want is not being offered via remote or online formats in the fall.

    You may need to substitute a class you want with another course that fulfills your graduation requirements. If you’re interested in specific electives to help meet graduate or professional school entrance requirements, you will need to make an appointment with your advisor.

    If you cannot find a replacement course or you need to take a specific course this fall in order to graduate in Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or Summer 2021, please contact your advisor.

    If you find you’re still having difficulty with your fall schedule or cannot make an appointment with your advisor, please visit AskCharlie.fiu.edu for additional information and to request additional assistance.

  • Will ASL students be allowed to take courses on campus? 

    Yes. FIU students who are deaf and rely on American Sign Language (ASL) for communication will have the same opportunities to take courses on campus that are available to all students.

    To access ASL services, students will need to enroll in their course(s) based on the current course availability and request ADA accommodations through the Disability Resource Center. ASL interpreter services will be made available to students who are deaf and will be provided in the same manner and modality in which the course and class meetings are being conducted.

  • FIU is using Honorlock or other online proctoring services in my remote courses. I’m worried about my privacy while using these services. Do I have other options?

    When the university transitioned to remote learning in mid-March, it entered into an agreement with Honorlock to provide our instructor/student community with an online proctoring solution, with no direct additional cost to the student. Honorlock provides services that facilitate remotely proctored exams. There are several reputable online proctoring companies, including Honorlock, that monitor the test-taker to ensure the academic integrity of exams.

    Honorlock publishes a Student Privacy Statement that explains how the technology works and what it is capable and not capable of doing. While online proctoring may be new to most and uncomfortable to some, it is a viable solution that supports the continuity of our academic enterprise and preserves academic integrity. Additional guides and resources on Honorlock are found on the canvas.fiu.edu website in the Remote Proctoring area for students.

  • How can I return my rental books without going to campus?

    If you need to return your rentals, you can do so by printing your free UPS shipping label.

    You’ll need your order number and bookstore account email address. You should have received an email with your order number via email when you made the rental transaction whether in store or online. One free shipping label per rental order/transaction will be provided, so if you rented three books on one order/transaction, you would need to send all three back at the same time to take advantage of the free UPS shipping.

    There will be free shipping for the foreseeable future on all domestic returns (no free shipping on international returns)

    For additional assistance, please email fiubook@fiu.edu.

International students

Nursing

  • For nursing, what will happen regarding the clinical rotation portion of our curriculum? Will we be returning to the hospitals or will we be sticking to remote learning?

    The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences is working directly with each of the programs within the college (i.e., nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, communication sciences disorders, and health services administration) to identify ways to best fulfill their respective clinical, internship or other requirements in a way that continues to support clinical and academic excellence. We are following the best guidance and recommended practices from health officials, accrediting bodies and professional licensure boards.

    Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis, evidence-based research demonstrated the effectiveness and benefits of simulated clinical experiences in the education of students in the clinical disciplines  (i.e., one hour of clinical simulation to substitute for one hour of in-person clinical experience up to 50 percent of the clinical hours) in meeting clinical competencies. Therefore, use of 50 percent simulation within our nursing curriculum, as approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing and in response to hospitals’ cancellation of clinical rotations during the pandemic, is being explored to  meet clinical experience requirements to encourage timely program completion. 

    Development of practice/academic partnerships to provide opportunities for all of our students to work with clinical staff at community-based clinical sites during the pandemic is being explored to resume on-site clinical learning opportunities as soon as possible. Such clinical experiences are being designed to secure on-site clinical learning opportunities for our students and to support the increasing healthcare needs of our community.