What can I learn about COVID-19 this spring? A list of courses that explore issues around the pandemic

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2020

Stacks of books

Looking to deepen your knowledge about COVID-19? Want to take courses that will help you wrap your head around the pandemic and navigate the complex web of societal challenges it poses? We totally get it.

Here’s a list of the 2020 spring-summer courses that explore the issues at stake surrounding the pandemic and the new reality we’re collectively living.

Some of the courses listed here are new, while others have been adapted to incorporate this major global event or are particularly relevant and useful to what is happening right now.


  • Socio-Legal Issues of the COVID-19 Pandemic (DRC 4731 A) – FRENCH ONLY

The Faculty of Law – Civil Law Section continues to innovate by offering a hot new summer course on the socio-legal issues of the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by more than a dozen professors under the leadership of Vice-Dean (Academic) Sophie Thériault, the course will cover issues as varied as occupational health and safety, artificial intelligence, contract law, patents, food safety and criminal law. The course is offered in French only.

When: July 13 to August 24 (Tuesdays and Thursdays)


  • Current Issues: COVID-19 – A Multidisciplinary Perspective (EPI 6344)

The objective of this course is to give students the unprecedented opportunity to learn from researchers and leaders in public health, clinical and health system settings about their roles in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention of this course is to provide a snapshot of the current situation from a range of perspectives, rather than an in-depth investigation from the perspective of a single discipline.

  • Current Issues: COVID-19 – An Online Applied and Public Health Research Experience (EPI 6344)

The objective of this course is to provide students with in-the-field applied research experience working with Ottawa Public Health partners to collect data and develop public health solutions to the challenges produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This may include gathering and analyzing data about the physical distancing practices of youth, using virtual focus groups or key informant interview strategies; contributing to the development of key public health messages; collecting or analyzing data related to the impact of some of these activities. This course will not involve contract tracing or surveillance of infectious disease spread.

This is a course currently in development with partners at Ottawa Public Health and more details will be available mid-April. At that time, we will be able to confirm if this course can be offered and provide more details about the syllabus and registration procedures. The activities will be supervised by the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, and the applied health research will be supplemented with online seminars. There is likely to be a cap on enrolment.


  • Criminalization in the Crisis: Impacts of COVID-19 (CRM6380A00-SCS4100A00)

This is a directed research course that will be tracking the policing and criminalization processes related to the pandemic. It is being offered to 4th year and master’s students.

When: May 4 to June 12 – Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:00-11:50 AM


  • Perspectives on Digital Health (CMN 5195)

The COVID-19 pandemic is just another example of how the transformation of healthcare in our digital society is challenge for organizations. In this course, we will discuss what digital health is and examine the role of communications in the new healthcare delivery framework. We will also explore why and in what ways digitalization is transforming the patient experience.

When: June 22 to July 31 – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30-11:30 AM

  • Virtual Teams: Communication Challenges (CNM 5536) – FRENCH ONLY

With the exceptional situation we are currently experiencing worldwide, many people are working from home and have to manage teams remotely. Through research, case studies and scenarios, this course will help you explore the many communications challenges surrounding our current situation. The course will be offered remotely and will include weekly virtual meetings.

When: May 4 to June 12 – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30-11:30 AM


  • Pandemic Pedagogies: Responsive Teaching and Learning in Times of Crisis 

Conflicts, pandemics and natural disasters have catastrophic effects on schooling and the well-being of students, staff and communities. This course will help students respond to difficult situations by considering the impact of disastrous global events on lived experiences, and mobilizes responsive pedagogies that draw on a wide range of learning theories. This agile online learning environment will model collaborative professionalism and invite students to engage deeply in areas of interest and relevance to them.  

  • Social-Emotional Competencies in ‘Leadership at a Distance’

This course will explore how social-emotional competencies relate to leadership and working in teams within different contexts, including working at a distance. Specifically, we will explore how a number of skills, such as emotional intelligence, relationship skills, organizational skills and decision-making skills can be applied in professional settings.

  • Current Academic Realities (PED 2507) – FRENCH ONLY

This new course, offered to undergraduate students, is an addition to the Francophone bachelor's degree and introduces students to the major issues facing today's teachers. It will focus on the situations that reflect our current academic reality and refers to issues of ethics, equity, sexuality, violence, sexism, etc. It is an introduction to models of conflict resolution and management of differences. This course is only offered in French.

  • Integration of Technology in Education (EDU 5188)

This course examines the implications for teaching practices and learning outcomes of integrating technological studies across the curriculum.


  • Introduction to Nutrition (NUT 1304)

How we fuel our bodies has an important role in our overall health. Nutrition is the foundation to maintaining a healthy body and mind, which are vitally important, especially in the current context of a global pandemic. Through this course, you will learn the recommended dietary intake as well as the social, cultural and psychological dimensions of food intake, among other things.

  • Socio-cultural history of the body (NSG 6570) – FRENCH ONLY

This graduate seminar offers a study of the human body through history, from the perspective of health professionals. The image of the body in a social context, as well as the history of illness and death, will be added to the enriching content.

  • Physical Activity in a Global Health Perspective (APA 1122)

This course will help you to better understand the role of physical activity in global health and the world’s vulnerable populations, which have dramatically increased with the sudden arrival of a global pandemic. Through a socio-cultural lens, the course will focus on the structure and roles of major national and international health organizations, tackle key concepts related to a variety of worldwide challenges and look at how these factors are or can be related to physical activity.

  • Determinants of Health (HSS 1101)

What has the potential to keep us healthy? This introductory course will impact your understanding of the current health crisis through interesting concepts of health and wellness, and in contrast, illness and disease. We will examine determinants of health through a multidisciplinary approach, combining biological, psycho-behavioural, socio-political and environmental perspectives.


  • Digital Marketing Technologies (ADM 4326 X)

A chance for business students to access digital platforms and gain hands-on experience with selected technological tools while developing their projects, and meeting guest speakers in a virtual world.

The Internet and a wide range of related digital technologies have changed the way businesses design and implement marketing strategies. This course focuses on the strategic and tactical applications of these ever-changing digital marketing technologies on decision-making and strategy formulation in areas such as business intelligence gathering, competitive analysis, customer analysis, customer relationship management, supply chain management, new product development, branding, positioning, promotion and advertising, services management and e-commerce.

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