UC Berkeley moves summer classes completely online in response to COVID-19

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Campus officials announced Friday that summer classes would be completely online in response to the COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic.

All summer 2020 classes will be offered through Zoom, bCourses and other virtual methods. Classes that cannot be offered remotely will be canceled by April 10, but more classes may be added in the future, according to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Catherine Koshland, Academic Senate chair Oliver O’Reilly and Dean of Summer Sessions Richard Russo, who sent the email.

According to the email, campus administration has made the decision to waive cancellation penalties for summer classes until May 25, the beginning of summer sessions. The move online will not affect students’ ability to qualify for financial aid, as long as they are enrolled in six units or more.

“Please be patient with us and instructors during this period while we update websites and academic departments assess their ability to offer instruction remotely and adjust the schedule to represent the full complement of classes,” campus administration said in the email.

This decision comes after the cancellation of in-person classes for the second half of the spring 2020 semester. Grades were also moved to a default of pass/no pass for undergraduates this semester, and attendance policies across campus were weakened in response to the move online, after many students said it was hard to focus and that extenuating circumstances at home prevented them from academically performing to the full extent they would on campus.

The email did not discuss grading policies for the summer session.

Online classes have historically been offered during the summer in addition to in-person classes, making the transition not completely different from previous terms. According to the email, more than 30 classes were already being offered fully online before the decision was made by campus administration.

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Kate Finman is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.