Redeemer University is preparing for a full return to campus for the 2022-23 academic year, along with a remote option via dual-delivery format for a limited number of students in most classes. The goal is to maximize the learning experience for everyone by building on Redeemer’s unique strengths as a Christian liberal arts and sciences university. As the pandemic ebbs and flows and hopefully wanes, Redeemer is making adjustments for the short term while considering the best path forward for the long term.
“The university is strongly committed to the whole-person, relational learning model that is most fully realized by an in-person learning environment,” says Kyle Spyksma, interim vice-president, academic. “At the same time, our immediate context requires flexibility. We have also learned about the benefits of new technologies and approaches for instruction over the past two years and realize it may be beneficial to some students moving forward. It has opened up possibilities that need to be explored carefully for their fit with Redeemer’s overall mission and teaching goals going forward.”
Redeemer has offered dual delivery for the past two years as an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dual delivery will continue to be offered for the 2022-23 year and surveys will go out shortly to faculty and returning students to get additional feedback on areas in which improvements can be made to help everyone to flourish.
The following changes will be implemented for the coming year, assuming there are no further closures:
Redeemer is promoting the values of hospitality, mutual respect and professionalism to guide how students and instructors work and learn together in the classroom. From these values flow clear expectations for all all students and instructors, remote or in-person, such as:
There will be a cap on the number of declared-remote students in any course to ensure meaningful integration into the class, discussions and assessments. An updated (and slightly expanded) list of in-person-only designated courses will be provided where remote learning cannot deliver the course material or produce the desired learning outcomes effectively.
Students may make their declaration of being remote at the time of course registration or later in the summer, realizing there may be a waitlist depending on course selection. Students should also be mindful that they may not be able to complete their entire degree remotely.
In-person students may switch to remote for limited periods of time and for limited reasons related to illness/isolation needs. Faculty may also need to teach remotely on occasion, in which case the classroom will generally continue to be the expected place for in-person students to attend (using their own laptops and headphones/mics).
Beyond the list of in-person-only courses are some upper-level, small and primarily discussion-based classes that will only be effective in one format. Instructors may elect to meet entirely remotely or entirely in-person to facilitate better discussion. Students will have a list of courses where this is a possibility before they begin their course-registration appointments.
Offering dual-delivery for another academic year continues to provide flexibility to pivot if necessary. We hope that a year without disruptive pandemic restrictions will also provide the space to explore the longer-term integration of digital technology within Redeemer’s holistic philosophy of education that begins in the classroom and includes all of life and learning in community. New technologies will continue to be reviewed during and after this academic year in order to incorporate the best of what’s new with the strengths of traditional learning for the future.