KPU students studying in trades programs such as welding and service technician programs will be heading back to campus for any essential learning that cannot be done online. Of course, Kwantlen Polytechnic University staff have made sure that students are returning safely, with distancing measures in place and the appropriate personal protective equipment as well.
Since cases have been on the decline in BC, a number of students have begun returning to class at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The classes students are returning to are essential courses that cannot easily be delivered online in any fashion. Of course, safety during this shift will be paramount.
As some students return to class strict physical distancing and health protection measures have been put in place. These safety protocols are occurring in classes that must be done in person, including the trades. For example, students in appliance service technician programs were the first to return to the Cloverdale campus.
“It’s been very important for the students in the class here to be able to finish this program on time and hit the deadline,” says student Luke Rotheroe. “That way we are qualified to be able to go and work in the industry versus having a delay and it then puts everything on hold.”
If students are unwell they must stay at home instead of attending class. When students arrive in class they must make sure they wash their hands and follow the floor markings so that they stay 2 meters away from other students. Further, all students must wear masks, face shields, and gloves.
“Things have been properly planned for the whole class,” adds Rotheroe.
Course plans and safety measures were done in conjunction with appliance service technician instructors with support from Dr. David Florkowski from KPU’s Covid-19 Action Team, Brian Moukperian, dean of the Faculty of Trades and Technology, Occupational Health and Safety and other partners in the university.
Not all courses are transitioning to in-person. Many courses are continuing online due to COVID19, but labs and shop work will now be going ahead in person. Instructor Dave Fengstad, for example, put in a lot of work to prepare for the transition to a blended approach. Fengstad had a head start having already moved to the electronic delivery of educational materials, but he had to learn additional tools to teach virtually.
“Now what we’re doing is we’re taking all that lecture format, that theory, and delivering it online at the front end, then we’re going and spending 100 percent of our time in the shop, so we’re pretty close to giving the same ratio of practical delivery and theory,” says Fengstad.
KPU’s goal is to reopen classes as safely as possible, while also ensuring the quality of learning remains high. Further, they are only bringing in students if the course cannot occur easily online. Meanwhile, other courses are continuing online at high quality, making sure students successfully complete their programs online despite the pandemic.
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