Spring Term is going digital!

A fun teacher on the internet!

Spring term classes at Portland State University will be conducted entirely remotely. What does that mean for PSUGD?

We wanted to let you know that we are here for you, and everyone across the country and world is in the same situation—students and professionals alike. We will get through this together! We are a strong community in PSUGD, and that will never change. We know you have questions, and we’ve got answers to some of the most common ones below. If you have more, please reach out to one of your full time faculty: Lis, Kate, Briar, Stephen, Meredith, Sean, and Cielle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go to find information on what is open or closed?

The official PSU channels are the best place to go to find out what offices and student services are open and when. Please keep in mind that things are changing on a regular basis so please consult PSU’s website regularly.

How are we going to do classes and stuff?

Remotely! That will mean different things for different courses. Some will be moving online to D2L and Basecamp and work more like the kind of online courses you may have taken before, while others may be conducted through Zoom and may meet at the same time they would if they were in a classroom. Some might take another tack altogether. Your instructors will reach out to you close to the start of Spring term to let you know how to get connected.

How does time work?

We know with a pandemic that time feels weird (especially thanks to Daylight Savings Time! And a full moon! And Friday the 13th), but we assure you it’s just like normal time. 🙂

A student emerging from a laptop with some fun Photoshop tools next to them!

But, like, how do classes work, time-wise?

Oh! Sure. Online classes work the same as in-person classes time-wise. 4 credit hours are still 4 credit hours per term. Instructors, though, will handle each class differently; some will be live streams that take up much of the time, while others will be more traditional D2L and Basecamp text-based classes. And some might be a hybrid…again, your instructors will reach out to you before the beginning of spring term and will outline how your classes will roll out.

What is the attendance policy for Spring?

Because this is an unprecedented situation, we want to work with you to ensure your success, and that includes attendance; different classes and mediums of connection will handle this differently. However, please keep in mind that even with the flexibility, you still have to turn things in on time, same as always, and keep up with course material.

How does the Sophomore Portfolio Review work? What about getting feedback from faculty?

The Review is still on, the dates are the same, and since we’ll be submitting online this year, all will stay the same. All faculty are continuing their normal office hours and you’ll schedule them the same as always—they’ll just be online (no more visiting sad hallways!). The revised guidelines and the info session deck are posted now.

What will happen to the Spring term Sophomore Portfolio Review info session?

Yes, indeed! The info session will still be happening as planned, same date and same time. We will be moving the session online and will have more details about it posted early in spring term.

How does advising work?

Advising will happen the same they’ve always been, just online. Scheduling advising appointments is the same it ever was. What’s different? Once the appointment is made, you’ll find a link for a Google Hangout or Zoom meeting in the calendar event for the appointment.

Are we still going to have events like Show & Tell, Be Honest, and FRESH?

Yes, definitely! We will be holding our weekly Show & Tell online via Zoom until we can get back to AB 320—it’s a great way to keep our community connected and we would love to see all your faces each week there! Check the event posts each week on psu.gd to get the link. Be Honest and FRESH are still far in the future, but we are working to ensure they keep going whether in meatspace or on MySpace (please note: neither we nor anyone else is going to go to MySpace, though we will definitely have some auto-playing Emo hits from 2005 going strong anyway).

Will the RAD or MAC labs be open? I don’t have a computer at home.

We are expecting the College of the Arts labs to be closed until mid-April. There are other places to work, though! At present, though, PSU is continuing to keep general use computer labs open across campus and available to students during the remote work period. Comcast Xfinity’s Internet Essentials service is also offering low cost computers to those who need them.

I rely on the labs to use Adobe software; what can I do to work on my classes?

Adobe has partnered with PSU to offer free Creative Cloud subscriptions for students that are that require it; instructions on how to access your software are available here. Too, many of PSU’s general use computer labs have Adobe software preinstalled on Macs and PCs and will remain open through the remote work period.

I don’t have internet access at home. What do I do?

PSU’s general use computer labs are committed to staying open as long as the school is in session next term; they may in some cases be the best bet. Comcast Xfinity is offering free WiFi to all by connecting to one of their hotspots around the city, and are offering their Internet Essentials package to qualifying individuals and households for free for the first two months right now, too. All three are great options for getting online!

Two students in a screen share with a mouse and cursor!

Will remote classes be accessible to me?

PSU is committed to inclusive learning practices, whether in the classroom or online! If you have accommodations or might need them, connect with the Disability Resource Center and tell your instructors. Live captioning is available for Zoom Meetings, and recorded videos will be more fully captioned through PSU Mediaspace. Our faculty will work with the DRC to help ensure that you’re getting the accessible content you need, the same as always.

What if I’m a student worker?

We’re getting information from the College and do not have a firm answer right now, we will update you as we know more.

Are any GD classes canceled for Spring?

Your stellar PSUGD teachers are working to make sure most classes will continue as scheduled, just remotely. Workshops may potentially need to be adjusted or cancelled, though; we will notify students soon on the status of our workshop classes.

What about graduation? Is graduation going to happen?

At this point, graduation is still happening! Please stay tuned for updates.

What about the study abroad trips to London, Italy, Mexico or Germany?

It depends! Some travel may become more difficult and we may have to cancel some trips, but we would ideally like to keep as many happening as possible. This summer’s trip to London with Briar is still tentatively on, but depends on student interest. Unfortunately, our study abroad trip to Italy has been canceled.