Follow These 5 Steps for Your Fall Course

Woman at desk with computer. Checklist.Georgia State is preparing to welcome students back this fall. For the Fall 2020 semester, Georgia State will adopt additional learning models to optimize learning while respecting student and faculty safety within our classroom environments. Blended learning, which will be the most common course-delivery method, integrates traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction with online anytime, anyplace digital learning. Online class components can include different forms of media such as text, audio and video that are combined with face-to-face, in-person learning within the same course.

Learn More by Exploring the Recently Revised Fall Plan >

Use our five-step process to plan for fall. Don’t forget that CETL is here to help. We continue to offer virtual drop-in and webinar Support Sessions. The best way to get questions answered quickly is to submit a help ticket to or call the service desk at 404-413-HELP (4357).


  • Confirm modality of class is correctly listed in GoSolar/Banner.
    Learning Models: Georgia State, in accordance with guidelines from the University System of Georgia, is providing multiple learning options for fall. The following outlines the available course delivery models:

    Course Delivery Models
    Blended Learning: Courses taught with this model will offer some class sessions face-to-face and other sessions online. By requiring students to attend face-to-face classes less often, the format reduces population density in classrooms and on our campuses. Blended learning allows students to have access to online instructional materials while experiencing the benefit of in-person interactions with their peers and instructors. Class groupings will be divided alphabetically by students' last names.
    Most courses will be delivered through blended learning.
    Face-to-Face (F): All class sessions will meet in person for these courses. For classes with required hands-on content, this is the best method of instruction. Special safety measures will be observed in face-to-face courses.
    Online (O): All coursework, content and instructional materials will be entirely online with no in-person attendance requirement for these courses. Some online coursework may still be delivered at a specific day and time – also known as synchronous requirements.
  • Send email to students if the modality has changed from original listing for registration.
  • If the modality has changed, post announcement on course site  (such as iCollege) prominently stating the modality the class has been changed to.


For Face-to-Face Classes:

For Blended Classes:

  • Identify cohorts of students for consistent with 25% occupancy of classrooms and explain dates of expected attendance by cohort (unless an exception has been granted for higher occupancy).Example Division: Instructors have the flexibility to determine how best to use the in-person class time in the revised 25 percent model. One option would be to divide students into cohorts that attend class only on specific days. For most classes, students would typically meet in person once every two weeks or three weeks per class, depending on how many days per week the class meets.

    Based on historical enrollment patterns, students could be divided alphabetically into groups by:

    1. A – Du
    2. Dv – La
    3. Lb – Re
    4. Rf – Z

    For most class sessions, these groupings will not create a perfect 25 percent split, and instructors will need to make some adjustments to ensure class sections are evenly distributed based on available seating in classrooms. In GoSOLAR, classrooms will have 25 percent of seats marked as usable, so it’s important to divide the class roster accordingly.

    Deviations from these recommendations are permitted for pedagogical reasons and based on compelling individual student requests at the instructor’s discretion. There also may be other criteria that may make more sense for some types of courses. Instructors may adjust their class divisions accordingly. The goal is to reduce the number of days any student is on campus. An alphabetical division of cohorts in each class will help to meet this goal.

    Consider using iCollege to help create cohorts or groups.

  • Determine your assessment strategy and required testing technology.

For Online Classes:

  • Determine whether your class will be synchronous or asynchronous.
  • If synchronous, specify what technologies (e.g. WebEx, etc.) will be used and how students are expected to engage with the class.
  • Determine your assessment strategy and required testing technology.
  • Synchronous sessions must match specified class times as indicated in GoSolar.
  • If GTAA are involved in the class, reach out to discuss expectations and encourage enrollment in GTAA MOT course that begins August 17, 2020.


  • Update your syllabus to reflect all changes you’ve made to your class, making sure to emphasize the modality of your class: Face-to-Face, Blended or Online.
  • Post the syllabus in iCollege.
  • Email a copy to your students.
  • Include all COVID-19 Syllabus Statements including those on Face Coverings, Assigned Seats, Attendance Policy and Student Illness.

For Face-to-Face Classes:

  • Indicate to students that the course will be held in a room large enough to accommodate social distancing.
  • Emphasize Mask Requirements, referring to syllabus statements.
  • Highlight planned engagement strategies.

For Blended Classes:

  • Clearly communicate to students the 25% plan, and their expected dates of attendance.
  • Communicate your attendance policy.
  • Emphasize Mask Requirements, referring to syllabus statements.
  • Communicate student technology requirements for the class, including testing technologies.

For Online Classes:

  • Inform your students as to whether your course is synchronous or asynchronous.
  • If synchronous, remind them of the course schedule and attendance expectations.
    Specifying the technologies that will be used for synchronous sessions and communicating this to your students early can help with any potential accommodation requests.
  • Communicate student technology requirements for the class, including testing technologies.

Step 4: Review engagement strategies.

Reflect on your Mastering Online Teaching Course and review the Keep Teaching website for proven student engagement strategies.

Step 5: Ready the course for students.

  • Make sure that all updates to your class are reflected in your syllabus and on iCollege. Ensure that your iCollege courses are available to students by August 12 at 12:01 am by setting the Start Date.
  • For Face-to-Face and Blended Classes, create a seating chart for your course once your class begins (one chart for Face to Face, one for each of the 25% groupings for Blended). Find seating chart templates and upload completed charts at:
  • Prepare a contingency plan if changes in the status of the pandemic require changes in your class plan.

Download an overview of these steps:
Five Steps for Fall
Five Steps for Fall – Accessible

For the latest information on the university’s plans for Fall and COVID-19 response, visit