CAPPA aims to use technology to address the challenge of working on studio projects online

Adrian Parr, the new College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs dean, sits in the Architecture Building courtyard Thursday morning. The College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs will transition to online classes in accordance with UTA’s requirements amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs will transition to online classes in accordance with UTA’s requirements amid the coronavirus outbreak.

UTA announced a one-week spring break extension Thursday, according to a previous Shorthorn article. Classes will resume Monday and transition online for the remainder of the semester.

“The aim is to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus nationally and to provide members of the CAPPA community with the flexibility they need to stay healthy and/or care for loved ones who are at home,” CAPPA dean Adrian Parr stated in a message posted on the college’s website Monday.

Currently, CAPPA faculty are working remotely to prepare for the return of classes. They have been encouraged to exercise flexibility in their grading procedures in recognition of students who may be facing difficulties because of the virus.

Work-study students and graduate assistants will also continue working remotely.

A two-hour cleaning schedule has been put in place for frequently used surfaces and signs in the CAPPA building as part of the college’s pandemic management plan.

A UTA student tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to a previous Shorthorn article. Parr stated that there have not been any confirmed cases within the college.

However, in accordance with UTA’s coronavirus policies, any CAPPA student who comes within six feet of an infected individual must complete the close contact form and notify the dean at adrian.parr@uta.edu.

“We may be living through an extraordinarily difficult time, but we are living through it together, and we are so deeply heartened by the ways in which it has brought out the best in us,” she stated. “In CAPPA, we are meeting this challenge by leaning on one another to provide support when needed.”

Diane Jones Allen, landscape architecture program director, cites the importance of technology in handling the situation, especially when it comes to the hands-on components of the curriculum such as studio projects.

“Being in [the] studio together is really important,” Allen said. “It's kind of a different exchange of ideas and creativity, but because of technology we can still exchange ideas and the studio projects can still be delivered.”

The video communication platform used will depend on each studio faculty, she said. It will be based on the learning outcomes stated in their curriculum.

“Foremost is the students, you know, making sure they're safe and making sure we can deliver the curriculum,” she said.

Melissa Lemuz, landscape architecture graduate student, said in an email that although she believes courses such as studio classes would be negatively affected, the college is doing its best given the situation.

“I’m sure that the professors will do everything possible to make sure we learn the necessary skills despite missing the in-person interaction of studio culture,” Lemuz said.

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