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COVID-19 Update

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Fall 2020 Planning

Academic Department planning for the fall 2020 semester continues to evolve. Classes begin as scheduled on Wednesday, September 2nd. Planning is guided by dedication to the health and safety of our community, continuing our high-quality education, and being a sustainable university.  


ON CAMPUS

All academic areas are planning to offer a hybrid model this fall that includes a mix of on-campus and remote teaching and learning. When on campus, students can engage in a mix of instruction and use the facilities as a resource for their projects.

  • Unlimited WiFi and study spaces will offer on-campus options for remote learning, if needed.
  • Remote instruction provides flexibility and opportunities to make work in diverse environments, with a range of materials, and whenever you can. 
  • The Adobe Creative Suite, for example, will be available to all students and faculty at no charge.
  • All faculty will receive professional training to better prepare their hybrid classes and remote teaching.
  • Students will also have opportunities to learn how to best use remote learning opportunities and time management within the hybrid model.

We are reconfiguring many campus spaces to provide scheduled access for all students to:

  • Studios
  • Equipment 
  • Resources 
  • Individual study spaces

Classes and/or departments will also provide studio materials kits to use outside of class. These kits will complement all instruction and enable students to optimize their time on and off campus. 

The MassArt Continuity Task Force, with input from faculty, staff and students, will further this work and provide updates through cross-campus communication. It also represents our ongoing efforts to assess and incorporate still-developing external guidance and restrictions.1 We are collectively developing a way forward to achieve our mission and adhere to our values, while also dealing with unprecedented circumstances. 

We are heartened by and grateful for the intense compassion and care with which community members are approaching these efforts. Future communications will describe health and safety measures, as well as housing and student co-curricular planning. 

For students, we are planning to hold a series of virtual town halls (by department) to present this information and answer any questions you may have. Please watch your email for your invitation.

Thank you for your continued patience as we take the time needed to develop our comprehensive plan for an enriching learning and teaching environment for fall 2020.


Department Notes

    • The First-Year Studio Foundation Department plans to use a hybrid model, with a one week on-campus/one week remote-learning structure, for all of our First-Year Students and Faculty. This plan allows for a safer learning environment for all. Our classrooms will be structured using measures for physical-distancing while maintaining the rigor and history of our studio program. In addition, upon arrival to campus in September, all First-Year Students will receive pre-assembled "studio artist kits." These kits include the basic tools and materials that all First-Years will need to begin their journey at MassArt in Drawing, 2D, 3D and 4D required courses.
    • The Liberal Arts department will offer its fall 2020 curriculum virtually. Courses will be thoughtfully and intentionally designed in alignment with best practices for remote instruction. Faculty will use a range of digital resources including Moodle, Google Classroom, Zoom, and other technologies to facilitate student learning and engagement according to individual subject areas and course outcomes.
    • The Animation Department at MassArt deeply understands the world of working remotely, as it is an essential mode of operating in the field. In an effort to prepare students to excel as professional animation artists, we are planning robust and flexible virtual classroom solutions that reflect the reality of our current situation. We are assembling kits to assist students in creating home studios, and are working on access to software and hardware technologies. In order to share success stories from afar, plans are in the works to involve alumni and other animation professionals in virtual classroom visits. In short, we will be ready to offer a top-notch experience for students regardless of external situations that are handed to us.
    • We are recasting our fall semester in Architecture as a combination of in studio and remote instruction. We see the studios and hands-on making courses having a larger component in person, while other courses may have a broader online presence. Overall, we are looking to collaborate across all of our courses, bringing in visitors, reaching out to organizations and practitioners, developing dialogues on issues that are relevant to the profession and our current lives. We are envisioning the end of the semester as connecting us all together in a conference of our work and experiences, supplementing traditional reviews. Students will take leading roles in these conversations. We are providing tool/material kits for all of the studio classes. We hope to bring all of our students, faculty and visitors together through interrelated studios casting safety and security in design through a social, political, cultural and racial lens: looking at housing, shelter, education, healthcare, civic and public spaces, thereby preparing students to participate in designing for a more equitable and just future.
    • The Art Education Department will offer most of its pedagogy courses remotely in the fall. Student Teaching Practicum/internship & Seminar will include students going to their internship sites whenever deemed safe and feasible by MassArt and the MA Department of Education, while the seminar instruction will be remote. The Art Education Department will offer some of its studio courses as hybrid and others remotely. All of our courses will be designed thoughtfully, using best practices for remote teaching to ensure student learning. They will all have real-time teaching, though some may include asynchronous learning. Faculty will use a range of digital resources including Google Classroom, Zoom, and other technologies to engage our students. We will also use virtual platforms so that our students can observe classroom instruction when it's not feasible to go to schools for fieldwork.
    • The MassArt Communication Design program plans to offer mostly hybrid classes in the fall averaging about 20% of the time on campus and 80% of the time remotely. Several electives and multiple sections of our senior Advanced Projects course will be held 100% remotely. For students to succeed in the fall, they will need a laptop (PC or Mac) capable of running Adobe Creative Suite. MassArt will offer students a free subscription to the Creative Suite. We also strongly recommend students consider purchasing a basic color ink-jet or laser printer and multi-port adapter for in-process work. Most assignments will be delivered digitally, though we hope to be able to support print delivery of finished project work.
    • The Fashion Design Department intends to offer mostly hybrid style courses that will involve both an on-campus and remote learning structure. We do have some courses that will run in a completely remote format. We are looking at providing structured studio access to enable students to work at designated times. During these times students will have access to sewing machines, dress forms, drafting tables, and irons. Fashion will be putting together “kits” of drafting and construction supplies. For innovative use of virtual space, some classes are looking to include guest lecturers, collaborative learning modules, demos, webinars from the industry, small group exercises, access to WGSN, and other online resources pertinent to the industry. As plans become more concrete we will be sharing updates with you.
    • FA2D, Painting and Printmaking is in the process of creating a hybrid plan for fall 2020 that will require all syllabi to have the flexibility to be taught from 50 to 100 percent remotely depending on the nature of class and the collective and individual health risk to students, faculty and staff. Material, tool, resource, and technology “kits” will allow students and faculty to adjust the ratio of remote to hands-on learning as conditions evolve. Health, safety and learning outcomes are our priority. FA2D’s on-campus hybrid plan will foreground our students’ safe access to undergraduate and graduate major studios.
    • At this time, the faculty, studio managers and administration are working diligently to create a plan that allows a safe return into the studios, shops and classrooms of 3D. We are hoping to accomplish this through opening up new spaces for physical distancing by shifting many courses to remote or hybrid remote/on-campus formats. We are working on creating scheduled opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be on-campus. Many of the processes in 3D require strict personal protective gear and protocols that align well with those for protection against COVID 19. As these plans become more concrete, we will be sharing all of our thoughts, ideas and concerns with all of you. If you have any questions at this time, please feel free to reach out.
    • Film/Video is actively exploring pedagogical methodologies that will best prepare our students for the post-pandemic world. The health and safety of our community members are a high priority. Equally important is providing access to the tools necessary to meet our teaching and learning goals. In order to ensure the success of hybrid classes, we are currently researching and testing remote technologies, including Virtual Desktop, and working to provide cloud-based software services such as Wipster, Celtx and Editshare, among others. We are assembling production equipment kits for each class year and course. Students will have scheduled access to equipment as well as production and editing studios.
    • As our primary concern is safety, our courses will be taught remotely, with the hope that at some point soon we will be triumphantly welcomed back to our classrooms in the flesh. Several of us will accentuate an asynchronous model, while most of us will be doing at least some real-time teaching via Zoom, GoogleMeet, etc. All of us will use and be available for our assigned class periods. And as local museums reopen, we will be working with them to return safely for class visits and firsthand study of works of art.
    • The Illustration Department strongly supports the belief that everything hinges on solid traditional and digital skills. To meet the mission and high standards of the curriculum, the current plan for all fall 20 semester courses is to offer them in two models, remotely as well as hybrid (on campus with potential live streaming for both on-campus and remote access). The departmental curriculum committee carefully selected courses appropriate for remote teaching and courses that require a hands-on, on campus presence.
    • The Industrial Design Department is working through various teaching scenarios for the in-person engagement aspects of our curriculum and for maintaining our user-centered design philosophy . We are developing hybrid classes to deliver studio-based learning, while incorporating remote class meetings, as well as asynchronous instructional resources where possible. The hybrid courses will meet both on-campus and remotely with the actual schedule dictated by the course calendar and occupancy load on the studio and will support students that wish to engage totally remotely. Several of our courses can accommodate a full migration to remote delivery. We are working to offer scheduled studio spaces for all students to access on campus when not in class as well as a virtual platform to support community building between students, faculty, and industry. Essential tools and technology requirements will be outlined and provided prior to the start of the semester with ongoing assistance throughout the semester to assure effective course work engagement when off-campus. Also, design materials kits will be created to support each student based on their level in the program and their curricular needs.
    • The Photography Department will teach classes remotely while making the labs and studios available to students on a scheduled basis who choose to use them. Using the labs will not be required for the curriculum so that we do not penalize students who prefer to limit their time on campus. We will continue using the platform Basecamp as our departmental avatar and we will continue to connect with students individually and collectively as much as possible via Zoom and Hangout. We are developing ways of having prints made remotely and we will provide kits with supplies as necessary. For the fall semester, the curriculum will not require use of darkrooms but they may be available for student use.
    • The Studio for Interrelated Media will continue to be a laboratory for traditional and innovative methods in the presentation of contemporary artwork. This fall, instead of a single "Big Show" SIM Department exhibition, the department is expanding its production experiments to embrace the online, virtual exhibition space in a series of hybrid productions using a variety of webcast technologies. Most of the SIM elective courses will be delivered remotely. A distributed training in techniques for sound studio, performance, graphics, programming and concept development will continue, supported with the necessary software and hardware "kits". Content created in the elective courses will contribute to the hybrid productions of the Major Studio course, which may include periodic on-campus recording of sets and performance with small numbers of students, faculty and staff, assuming this can be done safely.
    • In graduate studies, the current plan is to have our five residential MFA programs (Photography, Film/Video, 2-D, 3-D, and Dynamic Media) as well as our Master of Architecture and Master of Design Innovation programs return to campus using a hybrid approach. The campus will be considered a facilities resource, to be used for studio and lab support and/or for classes where the face-to-face or hands on approach is a necessity. Our Low residency MFA will be fully online, as is standard for the programs in the fall semester. For our TPP certification, MA, and MAT programs, students will be primarily learning remotely. Student Teaching Practicum and Saturday Studios will be online. For fall 2020, we are considering an alternating studio schedule for graduate students, giving each student scheduled access each week and allowing for physical distancing and regular sanitizing of the space. We will continue to monitor CDC and state-wide health and safety guidelines and adapt our studio access plan accordingly. We are committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe while supporting the academic and artistic progress of our graduate students.

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1A Sample of Resources