FAQs about class delivery

Will classes be online or in-person this fall?

All undergraduate courses will be held online this fall. This provides predictability and stability for students, given that a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall is consistently predicted across all models, the most robust solution for course delivery is 100 percent remote delivery. Most major engineering schools in Canada will have 100 percent remote delivery in fall for undergraduate students.

Does this mean I don’t need to move to Saskatoon?

You will not be required to come to campus at any point during the fall term.

Will I learn everything that I need to in an online class?

We are working with professors to help them develop content that will give you a fully-engaged learning experience. We are going to keep a close eye on how the courses develop and we will want to hear from you if concerns arise during the term.

Will my prof give a lecture when I log-in online for my class?  

We are encouraging professors to have both lectures and interactive student content. For example, they may use the regularly scheduled class time (when you’d normally go to an in-person class) for optional student interaction: discussions, tutorials, office hours or availability with teaching assistants. The mandatory content – the lectures – would mostly be pre-recorded so you could access them on your own time. This provides flexibility for students who are in different time zones. 

How is the college going to teach the labs?

We are working with professors and with our technical staff to determine how we will deliver our lab content. Some may be interactive, such as a virtual lab where you talk with the technician who uses the settings that you pick and you then get your data virtually. Some will be running simulations from your own environment, so that you can see what the lab would produce. Some will combine the video demonstration with other materials. Some labs may use a video of what you would have seen if you had been there observing in person.

Will final exams be held remotely in December?

Final exams will be conducted online in December. We know that for our first experience with online exams in March, some tests were too long as professors incorrectly calibrated how long the exam would take or were trying to ensure academic integrity. Several students paid to use online platforms during their exams. These incidents were investigated and serious consequences resulted for those students. Stay tuned for further information.    

Will we be back on campus when the winter term starts in January?

At a minimum, we would like students to have in-person labs and access to specialized facilities for the winter term. We don’t know yet if campus will fully reopen for face-to-face classes in January. This will depend on how well COVID-19 is contained and we cannot predict that.

Does this mean I should plan to move back to Saskatoon for the start of the winter term?

Students should plan to move to Saskatoon in January. We will provide more information as the fall semester unfolds and we have more information about COVID-19 in our city and province.

How will we do capstone projects?

We are planning that in January students will have some access to the campus for key experiential learning – like capstones. College leadership will continue this aspect of crisis and recovery planning through the fall term.

There’s so much uncertainty, would it be better if I just took the year off?

Our communities – in Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world – are going to need your engineering skills as we move through the next stages of the pandemic and then the eventual recovery in our economy and society as a whole. The resilience and resourcefulness you are developing now as you cope effectively with this adversity will serve you well throughout your career and life in general. As well, we could potentially face capacity issues in the college when students return, making class sizes for the year in question larger than normal.

We encourage all of our students to persist with their studies. We will be there to support you. We’ve got this!  

More information:

More information is available in the overview of Dean Suzanne Kresta’s May 25 town hall with students. Check out the full overview.