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Graduate School of Education and Psychology COVID-19 Updates

The Graduate School of Education and Psychology is implementing plans to address COVID-19 for the spring 2022 semester in coordination with the Pepperdine COVID-19 Community Response Plan. Additional information will be shared by the school as it becomes available.


  Remote Instruction

How will Fall 2020 classes be impacted?

Effective Monday, March 22, 2021, the remainder of the Psychology Division summer 2021 term, campus-based class sessions will continue to be held in their current online modality. We continue to monitor the situation closely. Until September, all psychology classes will continue to be online.

Beginning April 24, 2021, our Education Divison summer 2021 term will be offered synchronously (in-person and online) using GSEP's new Optimal Engagement Immersion Pedagogy (OEIP).

Classes in our existing online programs will continue to be delivered as planned.

What is Optimal Engagement Immersion Pedagogy (OEIP)?

OEIP is a new classroom experience that allows students to engage in either modality, F2F or online, simultaneously. Active participation and engagement among students and instructors transpire utilizing technological advances at minimal expenditure, with no additional resources for the students. This allows for students to be fully engaged in their classes regardless of where they are located - they would be physically in the designated classroom or online.

With readily accessible technology, students can join their F2F classes online as they are occurring. Using cameras and microphones placed throughout the classroom, students online can see their professor lecturing, view their entire classroom, clearly hear their classmates speak and engage with them, and see the whiteboard. OEIP provides flexibility in a high-tech unique learning modality that extends beyond the traditional 100% online and F2F learning methods. As a result, Pepperdine GSEP will begin using the OEIP learning modality to allow for simultaneous attendance from home or in-person, to meet all students' needs while providing the same high-quality education in unpredictable circumstances.

What should I be doing to prepare for the shift to online class sessions?

Be on the lookout for information and instructions from your professors regarding the alternative arrangements that are being made to continue your courses. Due to the need to rely on virtual instruction, you will need a computer equipped with a microphone and camera (either built in or externally added) and as well as access to a disruption-free environment during virtual class sessions. You should also familiarize yourself with Zoom, our video conferencing platform, and Sakai, our University-adopted learning management system. Find resources that you may find helpful in your preparations for online learning, including netiquette expectations, academic and student policies, and links to tech support and tutorials for tools used in each course, on the Getting Started with Online Courses for Students Google Doc.

How will assignments and tests be managed for my classes now that we are meeting online?

This will vary depending on the nature of the course and the types of assignments/exams involved. Your professor will make the determination and inform the class accordingly.

Can students meet with faculty and/or staff face to face at one of our campuses?

In keeping with the practice of social distancing for the sake of our community health and safety, students are not allowed to meet with faculty on any of our Pepperdine campuses through the end of the fall term. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty virtually.

I was scheduled to participate in an international/national study trip, which has now been canceled or postponed. How can I find out about alternatives for completing my program requirements and graduating on time?

We continue to monitor the situation closely. Presently, all national and international travel plans are on hold.

Will my tuition be compensated due to the shift to online programming?

No changes to tuition will be made. GSEP has extensive experience in online education and has found that online education can be fully interactive, experiential, and effective.

Are faculty receiving training in online instruction?

Yes, faculty have been provided with numerous resources, including access to both live and recorded training, as well as mentorship from faculty who are experienced in online instruction. Courses utilizing Optical Engagement Immersion Pedagogy (OEIP) will be aided by a technical assistant as well.

How will we conduct presentations for typical classes or practicum?

Zoom allows all participants to actively participate. This participating will include student presentations. Please prepare to present as you would in a face to face class.

What are the possibilities that fall classes will be online too?

The decision to offer face-to-face instruction will be determined by the University when it is safe to return to full campus operations. We continue to advocate for the return of our students to campus and to safely deliver classes in person as soon as possible.

Will my tuition be compensated due to the shift to online programming?

No changes to tuition will be made. GSEP has extensive experience in online education and has found that online education can be fully interactive, experiential, and effective.

How will the clinics at our graduate campus be affected?

GSEP community counseling clinics at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus and Irvine, Encino, and Malibu campuses Clinic directors have determined that services at our clinics will be provided through telehealth rather than face to face. No face-to-face services will be provided during that time. We will continue to assess conditions and provide updates.

I'm concerned about my completing assignments on time due to my child's/children's school closures. Will there be extra time to turn in assignments if this does happen?

Please direct any specific questions about assignments to your instructor.

  Campus Resources

Will the graduate campuses be open?

All graduate campuses are closed as of April 13, but faculty and staff have access to these campuses to complete their essential work.

How can I access library resources?

Pepperdine Libraries is excited to support students, faculty, and staff as we adapt to this online modality. Although the library buildings are closed, there are numerous online services available for teaching and learning remotely. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to contact a librarian through online chat or email.

Will students be reimbursed for parking at graduate campuses?

No, students will not be reimbursed.


What accessibility features will be included with Zoom to ensure that hearing-impaired and international students will be included? Will real-time captioning be provided by Zoom?

Zoom provides captioning within 24 hours of the class session. Class sessions will be recorded and posted with captioning.

  Video Conferencing

How do I sign up for Zoom?

All faculty, staff, and students are eligible for Zoom accounts. Each faculty should set up a Zoom meeting for each class. You must sign up through the Pepperdine Zoom web portal and use SSO (single sign-on). For more information, visit our Zoom page on the GSEP Community website.

Can I share a Zoom session link with others?

Treat the Zoom session as a private event and share the Zoom meeting link only with the intended participants. Participants should not share the link publicly or with others who do not need to be in the meeting. Participants are also advised to not post the meeting link in social public forums. Faculty are encouraged to post the meeting link in their institutional learning management system for students to access.

Zoom is anticipating connectivity disruptions due to so many programs moving to the online format. Has this been addressed? What work-around should we anticipate?

Zoom is prepared for the increased demands on the system. Should any problems arise, GSEP has contingency plans to utilize other platforms if necessary.

How can I prevent "Zoombombing" during a Zoom session?

Some universities and school districts are reporting inappropriate and offensive activities known as Zoombombing, where unwanted participants enter the Zoom meeting room and screen-share and/or proceed to say or write very offensive things. Zoombombing can usually be prevented by following these best practices:

  • Assign screen sharing ability only to the host. In Zoom, click the upward arrowhead (^) next to Share | Advanced Sharing Options | Only Host.
  • Mute participants upon entry and disable their ability to unmute themselves. In Zoom, click Manage Participants | the "More" button and check both "Mute Participants On Entry" and "Allow participants to unmute themselves."
  • Allow participants to chat with the host only. In Zoom, click Chat | the "ellipsis" button and check "Host only."

What do I do if I experience offensive or disruptive activity during a Zoom session?

Zoombombing can happen in Zoom or any other video conferencing solution. If you experience such activities, please report the incident as soon as possible to a member of the University IT staff.