COVID-19 Update #4: NAIT open, in-person classes suspended March 16-18; classes to move online where possible

Posted: Mar 14, 2020 10:59 PM

We are committed to keeping our community healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have heard the concerns of our students and staff and want to assure you that we are taking every precaution to protect the health and well-being of the NAIT community.

We are suspending all in-person classes from March 16 to 18 on all NAIT campuses to allow our instructors time to prepare to teach online, where possible. NAIT's campuses will remain open.All classes will resume starting March 19. This decision applies to credit and non-credit courses, including apprenticeship courses.

Suspending in-person classes for 3 days will allow our instructors time to prepare to teach online. Instructors in all programs will teach the theory components of their courses online. Courses that are already offered online will continue as scheduled from March 16 to 18.

Moving as much instruction as possible online will reduce the overall number of people on our campuses and allow for better physical distancing in support of Alberta's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As a polytechnic, hands-on learning is core to how we teach, and is an important consideration in our approach. Some shop and lab components of our courses will still need to be delivered in person. Where in-person instruction in shops and labs needs to continue, instructors are taking steps to minimize risks, including through physical distancing, and to help students complete their learning as quickly and safely as possible. Additional attention will be given to ensure labs, shops and tools are cleaned and kept safe.

Instructors will be in touch with students via Moodle and/or email with information about how they will proceed with online delivery and any required in-class instruction.

Our intention is for students to complete their courses, including final assessments, in line with the current academic calendar or potentially sooner where possible. We will look wherever possible to alternative assessment strategies including online exams or assignments in lieu of final examinations.

We are in conversations with Apprenticeship and Industry Training, and they are supportive of this approach and will make the necessary adjustments so apprenticeship students are not disadvantaged.

We recognize there may be some instances where it will take longer than originally scheduled to complete course work, and instructors will communicate with students directly.

Instructors are being asked to be flexible, creative and to focus on meeting student outcomes. We trust they know what's best for our students and that they are in the best position to make decisions about how to transition learning online. Staring Monday, the Teaching Services and Curriculum Development teams will support instructors to move to online delivery.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we work to make these changes.

Leaders will work with their teams to enable staff to work remotely wherever possible, and additional guidelines will follow.

We understand you will have many questions. We have updated our information for students with additional Q&As for apprentices and continuing education students.

While the global risk is rising, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Alberta is still low. Please look out for one another, practice good hygiene and take other preventative measures, including physical distancing, where possible.

NAIT's Emergency Operations Centre is leading our response to COVID-19 in consultation with the Government of Alberta and other post-secondary institutions. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and will take additional steps as necessary.

For latest information on NAIT's response to the pandemic, visit For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit the Government of Canada and Alberta Health websites.

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