Online classes changing format

Cyber sessions are coming to LMC fall 2020.


Mason Grossman and Javier Briseno study for classes on a laptop.

Jordyn Toscano, @jordyntoscano

The Los Medanos College Academic Senate has approved the implementation of fall cyber sessions for the 2020 fall semester.

Cyber sessions are an online only, four to five week course that offers various general ed classes. Both Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College have already incorporated cyber sessions into their Academic Calendar, and LMC has decided to follow suit.

The goal is to offer courses for students who find that they still need units for a spring transfer – this option tends to support student athletes, reverse transfers – students already enrolled at four-year institutions; and students who elect to continue their studies using this session,” said Vice President of Instruction Dr. Sally Montemayor Lenz.

Although the LMC fall cyber session was slated to begin Dec. 9 of this year, the Academic Senate decided that they were not as prepared as they would have liked to be and have therefore pushed back the start date to next year.

“We agreed to support the idea of a cyber session starting on Dec. 9 but with the time constraint, we decided not to move forward with it this year,” said Academic Senate President Josh Bearden. “We are definitely supportive of the cyber sessions and we’re definitely going to go through with it next year.”

Academic Senate members were extremely concerned about the lack of resources available to students during these future cyber sessions, as they are online only courses that take place while the LMC campuses are closed.

“The depth of learning is the biggest issue we’re putting a four week bandaid on a larger issue,” said Curriculum Committee Chair Morgan Lynn. “Academic services are very important and essential to students.”

Based on this concern, the Senate has found a way to incorporate the support and resources necessary to students during these four to five week sessions. 

“At this juncture, LMC is poised to launch Cranium Cafe, HonorLock and expand NetTutor – these online support student success and will be made available January 2020, and will complement a fall 2020 cyber session,” said Montemayor.

The Academic Senate is also looking at the Academic Calendar to determine whether there are other periods of time during the school year where they could potentially implement other cyber session options.

“It’s something that’s actively being discussed, but we’re still in the beginning stages of this discussion. We are looking at the entire academic calendar to see where sessions would best fit,” said Bearden.

While sessions would last four to five weeks total, the amount of hours that students are expected to dedicate to their class depends on the course(s) they decide to enroll in. The various General Education course options are still being discussed and will be revealed when registration for cyber session next fall begins, after Senate determines what faculty members are available to teach online classes during this time period.

Academic Senate President Josh Bearden has advised that everyone “keep tuned to updates in the future,” as cyber session courses tend to fill up significantly faster than normal semester courses at DVC and CCC.