By Reedah Hayder
On Monday, Ryerson University announced that spring and summer courses will continue online. In a phone call, president Mohamed Lachemi told The Eyeopener that if possible, “some in-class courses may be offered in the summer term, but this will depend on the [COVID-19] situation.”
Because not all courses can be offered virtually, such as laboratory or studio components, faculty members are actively “evaluating alternative teaching options” to avoid class cancellations. Lachemi noted that the Ryerson’s Chang School will be communicating any developments in the near future.
The Chang School’s spring courses are expected to start the week of May 4, 2020 and summer courses the week of June 22, 2020. However, due to the new online curriculum, many courses may have new start and end dates, the announcement said.
In addressing concerns about course fee changes, Chang School dean Gary Hepburn said, “We don’t expect that any move toward online courses will impact course fees for students.”
But some students, who have already enrolled in summer and spring courses, have said there should be a change in course fees because their in-class courses have been moved online.
“If students are not provided the full course experience, nor are we using the university facilities, we should not be charged the full amount,” Carolina Medina, a fourth-year business information technology management student, said.
Medina’s two in-class courses costed approximately $1,600 for this spring—and she believes it should be reduced.
“Students who [are] already enrolled in the courses had expected and paid for them to be delivered in-person. Since the delivery has switched to an online format, a price change should be made since students aren’t getting what they paid for,” said Muhammad Aziz, a first-year biomedical sciences student.
Though all courses facilitated through the Chang School are priced differently, there is currently no discount offered for the way students take a certain course—online, classroom and intensive options cost the same.
Aziz said he’s disappointed with the lack of communication about summer and spring courses. According to Aziz, his summer in-class courses costed roughly $1,500.
He said the university “could be a little more communicative to students.” He said the university should “send a dedicated email to students or announcements through the CESAR D2L” regarding spring and summer courses.
Medina is taking two courses through the Chang School this spring. She said she emailed the registrar’s office with concerns about how spring courses will continue but still hasn’t heard back.
Dorothy Yeung, first-year student in urban planning, said she found the announcement on Monday to be fair—considering that social distancing could last weeks or months, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The university has to wait for official information [from the city and province] when considering how to continue operating the school, so for them to release this information a few days ago is reasonable,” said Yeung.
Medina said she welcomes the idea of her classes moving online. “What matters to me most is my health, as well as my family’s, so if staying home is an option, I’m all for it.”
Aziz said though he prefers in-class learning, he will still remain enrolled in his now online spring and summer courses.
Medina said she still plans on remaining enrolled in classes that are moved online, as “online is a more preferred method of learning right now due to COVID-19.”