Texas Tech University

Academic Instruction

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Important Notices

Spring 2021

  • The Spring 2021 semester will involve courses taught in face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities in proportions very similar to that of Fall 2020. The availability of a particular modality varies across academic programs and colleges, but generally, every student on campus who wants one should be able to have some face-to-face class meetings as part of their Spring schedule.
  • The schedule for Spring 2021 has changed and that announcement was made to the university community in the fall. Faculty will report for duty on January 19 and classes will begin on January 20. Spring Break has been modified to one day, Friday, March 19.
  • Classrooms, laboratories and studios will operate at reduced capacity using guidance for six-foot social distancing protocols. In some instances, room assignments may be modified as needed but we do not anticipate making changes that would substantially affect student schedules.
  • Appropriate face masks or face coverings will be required in campus buildings by all students, faculty, and staff:  Campus Face Covering Policy & Exemptions.
  • Students will be required to wear a mask or face covering when attending an in-person class or when you are inside a campus building:  Campus Face Covering Policy & Exemptions.
  • To provide safety for our faculty and students, social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented in classrooms, studios, and laboratories. Faculty leading instruction will not be required to wear a face mask or face covering so that students are able to clearly understand the instruction and for the benefit of the hearing-impaired. However, clear face shields are strongly recommended in such instances, coupled with social distancing of at least nine feet, unless the classroom is equipped with a plexiglass barrier between the instructor and students.
  • Students that have specific questions regarding their courses should contact their academic advisor.
  • While some courses will be delivered through online instruction, since we will be physically on campus together, there will be many opportunities to engage with professors through extended office hours, tutoring, and one-on-one discussions.
  • If you are a graduate student, please use the following link for resources such as emergency assistance, loaner computers, research and scholarly activity, thesis and dissertation defenses, and extensions for degree completion.

Class Modalities - Spring 2021

  • Face-to-face classes will meet in specified classrooms and instructional labs as scheduled. Face-to-Face indicates that the faculty and the students are in the same physical location at the same time. Faculty may use Blackboard or other University-authorized online platforms (e.g., Microsoft 365) to supplement in-class lectures and activities.
  • Hybrid courses include a combination of online and face-to-face lectures and activities. There are several types of hybrid courses, but the three most popular are:
    • Traditional hybrid: students typically meet face-to-face at least once a week and the instructor lectures during this time. For the additional class time, students will be engaged with a variety of learning assignments/activities that will be completed online. The assignments/activities will reinforce the content covered in the face-to-face lectures.
    • Flipped class: students review materials (e.g., recorded lectures, topic-related videos, readings) prior to the face-to-face meeting. During the face-to-face time, students are engaged in learning activities directed by the instructor.
    • Hyflex (Alternating or Flexible Hybrid): a group of students are face-to-face in a classroom, and another group of students are in a different location (e.g., at home, or one of Texas Tech's regional sites). This type of hybrid class allows an instructor to use the traditional lecture while providing the flexibility of attending class from off-campus locations.
  • Online Class Delivery
    • Asynchronous: This is an online course that allows students to log into Texas Tech's Learning Management System (Blackboard) and other learning platforms (e.g., Microsoft 365) anytime during the day to access course materials and complete assignments. Homework, assignments, and exams will have defined due dates, as is typical for on-campus learning. This form of course delivery offers the greatest flexibility for the students. In this type of class delivery, students will have the opportunity for regular interaction with the instructor and other students in the class. Faculty often offers video-conferencing office hours.
    • Online Synchronous: This is an online course that meets at specific times as indicated in the class schedule. Faculty will use video-conferencing tools to deliver lectures, work with groups of students, or conduct seminars. Homework, learning activities, and exams will have defined due dates, as is typical for on-campus learning but all will be submitted electronically, such via Blackboard or Microsoft 365.  This type of class requires the students to have a webcam and microphone. In this type of class delivery, students will have the opportunity for regular interaction with the instructor and other students in the class. Faculty often offers video-conferencing office hours.

Outdoor Learning Spaces

  • In order to provide additional opportunities for face-to-face instruction, the university will be installing outdoor classroom spaces across campus. A tent, complete with WIFI, will give faculty additional options for holding face-to-face instruction in an environment that allows for air flow and proper physical distancing. This interactive map denotes locations for the outdoor classroom as well as areas where WIFI is available.
  • The university is working to provide WIFI in additional outdoor spaces so that students have additional options for studying on campus. This interactive map denotes outdoor areas where WIFI is available.
  • A complete listing of indoor and outdoor study spaces is available through this link.


  • The Texas Tech custodial staff will wipe highly-touched surfaces; including handrails, push/pull door handles, elevators, and other horizontal surfaces over the course of each day to provide a safer environment.
  • All restrooms and common areas are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. The disinfectants that are used are proven to kill viruses like COVID-19, as well as others.
  • The custodial department also uses an electrostatic application of disinfectants to complement the regular cleaning process. This application process allows the team to disinfect areas that traditional cleaning methods may miss by applying an electrostatic charge to liquid disinfectants to all surfaces.

Personal Hygiene

  • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout campus, including the Residence Halls.
  • Paper towels will be available in all restrooms to open doors, and automated hand dryers are being installed.

Social Distancing

  • The university will emphasize social distancing of at least six feet between individuals. Students, as well as faculty and staff, should adhere to the latest state and federal guidance for social distancing. Print and digital media throughout campus will provide reminders to the campus community.