Tacoma Community College (TCC) will continue to hold most classes online Fall Quarter, with exceptions for approved lab classes to be held on campus. Enrollment is now open, and students can start the application process here.
“This decision allows us to start preparing early,” said TCC President Ivan L. Harrell, II, Ph.D. “Contrary to winter and spring, when we abruptly shifted to online learning, this early decision will help us better prepare for what is historically the highly anticipated start of the academic year. It is important to remember that these plans may need to change, based on the current state of the coronavirus epidemic, as we move into the fall quarter. Also, required social distancing, as well as health and safety protocols, will be in place.”
In addition to labs held on campus, different online learning modalities will be available. “Synchronous” online learning takes place at scheduled times – much like an in-person class, only held online. “Asynchronous” online learning is presented so that students can access learning materials at any time, without having to make scheduled meetings, although they will still have to meet deadlines for assignments and tests.
Because of concerns about “Zoom fatigue,” classes with synchronous elements will generally meet for no more than three hours per week online.
Many students will have to balance school with child care and job responsibilities, so most course and course sections will continue to be offered asynchronously. When a course offers a section with synchronous elements, it will generally also offer asynchronous sections. Some exceptions are being made for cohort-based programs.
Some advantages to signing up for synchronous classes include the ability to ask questions and get answers in real time and the opportunity to make stronger connections with professors and classmates. For many students, the structure built into synchronous classes can also be beneficial.
TCC instructional administrators made sure that instructional modalities were clearly coded into the Class Schedule before students started registering for Fall Quarter on June 1. If a class requires synchronous meeting times, the meeting times will be listed the Class Schedule field that normally lists class times. Additional information will be available in the “Class Notes” section.
TCC is also hoping to be able to open some on-campus learning and support spaces by September, like the Info Commons, where students can use computers and get help with technical issues, and the Library, where they can study, access research materials, and get help with research-based projects.