ANGOLA, IN - Trine University had a "highly successful" fall semester through the COVID-19 pandemic, said John Shannon, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, and the spring should be even better.
Before being allowed to attend spring classes, students were required to submit a negative COVID test result.
The university has expanded its COVID Response Team to add more contact tracers, and has made investments to better communicate with students in isolation or quarantine. It also has added quarantine and isolation space on- and off-campus while making improvements to off-campus spaces.
Trine's Student Health Center can now perform COVID-19 testing on campus, providing reduced wait times for results while lessening the strain on community resources and limiting potential exposure for students who feel ill.
Faculty will be required to record classes when a student is absent, no matter the reason. Recordings will be emailed to absent students or made available in Moodle, Trine's online learning management system.
Faculty have received and will continue to receive additional instruction on applications such as Zoom and Moodle as well as more general topics related to online teaching. Shannon said Trine's IT department offered 15 training sessions for faculty during the winter break, while the university's Center for Teaching Excellence has conducted training sessions on topics such as important elements in virtual instruction and teaching in hybrid mode.
Online versions of popular student activities will be offered throughout the spring semester, including Bingo for Bucks, virtual entertainers and yoga sessions. An online alumni vs. students trivia competition and virtual escape room are planned, along with an intramural esports league.
Thunder athletic teams are scheduled to compete throughout the spring. For now, athletes, coaches and staff will be masked during practices and competitions, with no spectators allowed. Games will be live-streamed as much as possible on the Trine Broadcasting Network.
COVID-19 testing will be conducted per NCAA and MIAA protocols. Facilities will be thoroughly cleaned between each event.
Matt Land, assistant vice president for athletics, said the university has developed a comprehensive schedule to accommodate not only COVID-19 restrictions, but the move of fall sports conference schedules to the spring.