Instructional Laboratories

UTRGV Facilities Management will provide the capacities for all instructional labs following social distancing guidelines. Instructional Labs will open for face-to-face educational activities with the fall 2020 semester.

Lab Capacities and Working Groups/Clusters

  • UTRGV Facilities Management will provide the capacities for all instructional labs following social distancing guidelines
  • For labs that are at 40% capacity or less, a representative from the offering School or College will meet with Facilities to do a walk-through and decide whether furniture can be moved to accommodate increased student capacity.  Schools and Colleges will identify rooms for storage of necessary furniture.
  • Total number of students in a laboratory will be determined based on 6-foot social distancing guidelines
    • The size of working groups within the lab, i.e. clusters of students working together in close proximity (such as around a microscope), will be limited to no more than four (4) students.  In smaller labs where social distancing requirements cannot be followed, the capacity may be limited to fewer students.
  • Screening for symptoms using the UT Health RGV questionnaire will be required prior to entering the instructional lab.

 

Schedule

  • Instructional Labs will open for face-to-face educational activities with the fall semester, 2020
  • Instructional Labs with no hands-on requirements, i.e. where student learning objectives can be met via remote delivery methods like video recordings, simulations, or other means, should be offered fully online.
  • Instructional Labs with hands-on requirements, where student learning objectives cannot be met remotely, will be offered in a hybrid or reduced seat format.  A “flipped classroom” model will be used, with didactics, sharing of information and data analysis will be done remotely, while hands-on laboratory activities will be done face-to-face.
  • The hybrid/reduced seat model will allow the rotation of student groups into alternating weeks, without the need to break the lab into multiple sections.. Furthermore, the hybrid approach will reduce the number of students on campus at a certain lab time and allows the lab to shift to fully online delivery if necessary.  It will also provide an option for face-to-face testing and help sessions as needed.
  • Faculty will need to incorporate ADA requirements and accessibility for students with disabilities into whatever model is implemented.
  • Instructors of hybrid labs should develop a contingency plan and be ready to delivery labs in an online mode with short notice if issues related to COVID-19 require modification
  • Where possible, instructors should complete face-to-face lab time by the Thanksgiving holiday, so that the data analysis, team learning, and reporting can be done remotely after then.

 

 

Laboratory Health & Safety Measures

  • Masks and gloves will be required inside all instructional labs.  All laboratory users will wash their hands prior to entering the lab.  Students and faculty will receive instruction in use of these materials.
  • Laboratory supervisors will be responsible for enforcement of health and safety requirements.
  • Screening for symptoms using the UT Health RGV Screening Questionnaire will be required prior to entering the instructional lab.
  • Enhanced Sanitization will be conducted by custodial services. Individual departments are responsible for local disinfection. Disinfectant & hand sanitizer will be provided by EHSRM.
  • EHSRM and Facilities will be responsible for installation of signage in buildings and labs.