Fall 2020/Spring 2021

Instructional considerations - Fall 2020/Spring 2021/Summer 2021

Spring 2021 - Monday, Feb. 1 - no Spring Break - Friday, May 7 (Finals 10-14). Commencement on Saturday, May 15 (no spectators).

Summer 2021 - online offerings (~75%) and in-person (25%) courses

Fall 2021 - ~95% of undergraduate courses will be in-person

Summer COVID-19 Classroom parameters: No gatherings of students over ~50 students in a single space, ~six-foot physical distancing, mandatory mask wearing by students, mask by instructors (or shields in situations where facial features need to be seen).  

Expected COVID-19 parameters for Fall 2021 - vaccines highly encouraged, masks required - no classroom cap sizes.

Archive of Spring 2020/Fall 2020 FAQs regarding COVID-19 and instruction

Syllabus statement - COVID-19 - Fall/J/Spring expanding section

The following statement is required for all J-term and Spring 2021 syllabi.  Furthermore, instructors are encouraged to discuss with their students and add to the "Welcome" component of their Canvas sites.

COVID-19 Health Statement 

Students with COVID-19 symptoms or reason to believe they were in contact with COVID-19 should call and consult with a health professional, such as the UWL Student Health Center (608-785-8558).  Students who are ill or engaging in self-quarantine at the direction of a health professional should not attend class. Students in this situation will not be required to provide formal documentation and will not be penalized for absences. However, students should: 

·       notify instructors in advance of the absence and provide the instructor with an idea of how long the absence may last, if possible. 

·       keep up with classwork if able. 

·       submit assignments electronically. 

·       work with instructors to either reschedule or electronically/remotely complete exams, labs, and other academic activities.

·       consistently communicate their status to the instructor during the absence. 

Instructors have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation for completing course requirements to students adversely affected by COVID-19.  This policy relies on honor, honesty, and mutual respect between instructors and students. Students are expected to report the reason for absence truthfully and instructors are expected to trust the word of their students. UWL codes of conduct and rules for academic integrity apply to COVID-19 situations. Students may be advised by their instructor or academic advisor to consider a medical withdrawal depending on the course as well as timing and severity of illness and students should work with the Office of Student Life if pursuing a medical withdrawal.

Last modified: 11/13/2020

Final exams - Fall /J/Spring 2021 expanding section

"A finals week exists to allow students time to read, review, write, integrate, synthesize, and collaborate to maximize the student leaning outcomes of courses. Instructors are encouraged to use finals week for significant papers, assignments, exams (cumulative or not; take-home or in class), etc. in order to allow students the maximum time to distribute their workload and attend to quality. For the sake of student learning, the last week of classes should not be used as a proxy for finals week." UWL's final exam policy.

  • In-person, hybrid, and/or online synchronous 
    • should use the time period associated with the class for an exam 
    • cumulative exams should be associated with finals week rather than the last week of classes.  
    • if there is an final exam that can be completed at the student's discretion in terms of time, the students should be given a final deadline no earlier than the date and time of the final exam. If all students agree to an earlier time than the published exam time, that is acceptable. However, a student who requests the time associated with the exam should have that request granted.
  • Online asynchronous 
    • it is preferred for final exams for asynchronous courses to also be asynchronous and recommended that students have at least 48 hours during finals week to complete the exam (to reduce potential overlap with other synchronous exams).
    • if an instructor wishes to give a synchronous exam, a mass exam period might be a good option. However, a student who cannot make whatever synchronous exam time is offered, should be allowed an alternative if needed. Students should be informed of these exam times early for effective planning.

Last modified: 12/28/2020

Spring 2021 course modalities expanding section

Spring 2021 undergraduate courses represent the following categories:
   57% Online (58% of which are listed as asynchronous; 42% synchronous) 
   34% Hybrid 
     9% In-person

Approximately 25% of students in the Spring 2021 have fully on-line schedules.

For Fall 2020

   40% Online 
   46% Hybrid 
   14% In-person

Last modified: 02/11/2021

Fall '20/Spring '21 Student Experience Assessments expanding section

Fall 2020 at UWL was a blend of course modalities for group instruction: hybrid (46%), fully online (40%) and in-person (14%).  

A survey of all students indicated a combination of good experiences and concerns similar to Spring 2020.

Grades for Fall 2020 were skewed slightly higher than Fall 2019.


S/US "Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory" grade change request. Was available to students in Spring '20 and Spring '21 (not in Fall '20).

Spring 2021:   Approximately 3% of our undergraduate students (n = 251) requested one or more grade changes from a grade to a S/US. The total number of changes was 409. The largest number of grade changes were from "F" to "US" followed by “C” to “Satisfactory.”  Summary report.

Spring 2020: Approximately 5% of our undergraduate students (n = 465) requested one or more grade changes from a grade to a S/US. The total number of changes was 757. The largest number of grade changes were “C” to “Satisfactory.”  Summary report.

Link to information about Spring 2020 experiences.

Last modified: 07/08/2021

Online (OS and AS) and hybrid definitions expanding section

Definition of Course Types

Face-to-Face (F2F) or In-Person or On Campus: Course in which content delivery, course activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom.

  • Shown in WINGS as "P" for In Person in the Timetable 

Online courses (fully) - students do not meet in person at a physical site. All  content and course activities take place online. Prior to Fall 2020, shown in WINGS as "OL" for online.

  • Synchronous - some or all of the elements of the class occur in real time. Elements can be required (e.g., a lecture or exam) or optional (e.g., office hours or discussion times). The course should be listed as online in the timetable and a meeting date/time should be noted.
    • Shown in WINGS as "OS" for Online Synchronous
  • Asynchronous - although there are deadlines for students by which they need to complete work, there are no requirements for a specific date/time when the student must be available. 
    • Shown in WINGS as ""OA" for Online Asynchronous

Hybrid or blended: Course in which content delivery, course activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom and online. Classification of a class as hybrid or blended does not imply any particular percentage of time spent in the physical classroom. This classification simply signals to students that there is an expectation of both physical presence and online learning in the instructor's design of the course.

  • Shown in WINGS as "HY" for Hybrid: Blend On-campus/Online

Last modified: 10/29/2020

COVID positive students expanding section

If a student conveys to an instructor that they have tested positive for COVID-19, the instructor should encourage the student to call the UW COVID Hotline (608) 785-8559 to report their status if they have not already.

Contact tracers associated will contact individuals with whom the student had contact who are perceived to have been at high risk for contagion. The student's health care providers will guide student quarantine length as guided by the CDC guidelines. 

Instructors should not share the student's name with their chair or fellow instructors. Instructors need only work with the student to plan for their coursework.

Last modified: 12/28/2020

Testing& symptoms COVID-19 expanding section

Any employee or student experiencing symptoms should not come to class/work.
- A symptom checksheet is  here.
-Information on how to secure a COVID test is here.

Last modified: 12/28/2020

Instructor illness and/or quarantine expanding section

Departments should develop a "buddy" system for all of their instructors and keep a list of who is backup for whom. If an instructor uses Canvas, it is recommended that the backup instructor be added to the course at the beginning of the semester. The modality of the colleague coverage should be based on the course, the instructor's,  colleague's and departmental preference. If colleague coverage extends past two weeks, the department chair should consult with their Dean.

Last modified: 07/21/2020

Office hours expanding section
  • UWL does not have a standard office hour policy. The traditional recommendation is a minimum of 1 hour a week per prep and/or ~ 3 hours per week. However, given the reduced amount of time most students and instructors will be spending on campus, additional office hours are highly encouraged. 
  • Office hours should be held at consistent times and times when students are likely to utilize them.
  • Office hours should be noted on the syllabus and the Canvas site (if applicable).
  • Office hours on the instructor web profile are helpful - please make sure to indicate the semester and create a task reminder to update in the Spring.
  • Office hours can be virtual or in person. Please be willing to provide virtual for students who request it.
  • Virtual office hours - please note the platform used when you list your hours.
  • In person office hours - maintain the mask wearing and six foot distancing. If your office is not large enough for the six foot, feel free to secure a small conference room or in other public spaces on campus (inside or outdoors).

Last modified: 10/15/2020

Building hours expanding section
  • During the semester, building hours for most classroom buildings will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • These hours may change. Please check.

Last modified: 11/13/2020

Masks & shields for instructors expanding section

Masks generally provide better risk reduction for others in the room as compared to shields. However, in a shield an instructor's facial expressions are seen better. If an instructor needs to be moving around (e.g., in a lab), masks are recommended over shields. Masks should be worn unless there is a specific teaching or health reason to wear a shield (this would include a request from ACCESS to wear a shield due to a lip reading student). UWL will provide masks and/or shields. ADAs can order plain cotton masks and/or shields for faculty and staff through the iService desk.

Audibility? UWL ATS unit has conducted trials with one-time use masks, the UWL standard cotton mask, and face shields with microphones. All three were audible with no major differences among the three. Most UWL classrooms are already equipped with microphones. Instructors should use a sanitizing wipe on the mic before handling. If you are teaching in a room without a microphone please let your chair and Dean know.

Last modified: 09/10/2020

Lecture capture & streaming & other classroom tech expanding section

Thinking about posting and/or streaming classroom "lecture" or activities as part of your Fall 2020 course(s)? Please review the information below.  

If you'd like to request a consultation regarding the technology in your classroom with ATS for lecture capture/streaming capabilities, or any other tech needs, please complete the following request form. Please note that August 21st and later there will be limited availability for consultations.

You may need to be granted access to the building and or meet the ATS rep outside the building to be let in. Centennial will be unlock to all instructors starting 7/23/2020 and first floor classrooms will be open for taping course materials as needed.

If you are bringing your own camera or device to record, it is particularly important to request a consultation request form to insure proper setup and configuration with the room technology.

  may need to be granted access to the building and or meet the ATS rep outside the building to be let in. 

Lecture capture: refers to recording the lecture and uploading it for access via CANVAS after the class ends. 

  • Elements that can be captured include: 
    • Audio of instructor 
    • Computer Screen 
    • Document Camera
    • External camera if available (only a few rooms on campus are equipped with working external cameras that can record/cast digitally - but there are other options noted below). 
  • Nearly all computer equipped rooms on campus have the Kaltura Capture or the Mediasite Desktop Recorder Software for lecture capture, but most do not have an external video camera. Consequently, the audio, computer screen and doc camera can be captured but not a video of the instructors and/or the white board.   
  • This is an asynchronous method as the video is viewed by others at a different time than originally presented. 

Web Streaming (narrow casting): refers to “casting” the instructor’s presentation to a limited audience such as the students who have the access through CANVAS to view it using a platform such as WebEx or Collaborate Ultra. This is in contrast to “broad” casting to a public audience using a link on an open site.  

  • Elements to be streamed are the same as those in lecture capture 
    • Audio 
    • Computer Screen 
    • Document Camera 
    • External camera if available  (again, only a few rooms on campus are equipped with working external cameras that can record/cast digitally - but there are other options noted below) 
  • Nearly all computer equipped rooms on campus have the software for web streaming but most do not have the external camera. Consequently, the audio, computer screen and doc camera can be captured but not a video of the instructors and/or the white board.   
  • This is a synchronous method as it can be viewed while the presentation is given (and the presentation can be recorded while it is being streamed to be viewed later).  
  • Please note, the term refers to one way communication system which, on its own, does not allow for interaction between the presenter and the online viewer. However, as noted below, when using WebEx or Collaborate Ultra for narrow casting, there are interactive possibilities. 

Interactive Video Conferencingrefers to an approach which will allow incoming streaming while simultaneously narrow- or broad-casting. 

  • This is the only approach that is clearly set up to provide two-way communication. 
  • There are only six classrooms on campus with this clearly set up with the correct hardware (Centennial 1404 & 3212, Wing 31, 102, & 104, and Murphy 150). 

 Are there ways to get video of the instructor while lecture capturing or web streaming and there is no external camera? 

As noted above, most rooms do not have external cameras that would work to capture/record images of the instructor and whiteboards.  If an instructor and/or department has their own external web camera, it may be possible to effectively use it in many rooms. 

  • Cameras that connect to the computers via a USB cable are preferable as they are the easiest to setup and integrate with the existing hardware and software. 
  • Cameras with USB cables, depending on cable length, may be limited in where they can be placed to view the instructor. 
  • Bluetooth web cameras might also be used, but will require specific assistance from IT to set up properly. 
  • If the web camera includes a microphone, that must be disabled to avoid interfering with the room's audio system. 
  • Please note: IT does not have any web cameras which can be loaned out to faculty or departments for use in classrooms. 

If a camera to record the instructor is to be used, or is a necessity for a class, the instructor must complete the following request form before August 21, 2020 to set up a consultation with ATS to ensure that the camera can be properly connected and used.  

Note: some classrooms with an all-in-one computer (listed as “AIO” in the classroom directory) have built in webcams.  However, these cannot be moved to capture the instructor from a student/audience point of view.  Relying on them would require the instructor to be in front of the computer screen at all times. 

Are there ways to get interaction when web streaming?
Instructors can use WebEx, or Collaborate Ultra on the classroom computer to web stream in the same way they use those programs on their personal computer to stream for meetings. 

  1. Web streaming from the classroom to students who are each using their own computer or mobile device: 
    1. Audio, computer screen, and document camera could be transmitted. 
      1. Visual of the instructor would only occur if an external camera is available
    2. Since it's on the computer screen it is part of what could be recorded along with audio. 
    3.  Visuals of those attending virtually could be displayed by the attendee or muted. \A caution - like any WebEx or Collaborate Ultra meeting, if someone is making noise and does not have their microphone muted, that noise will interfer/disrupt the audio of the person who is supposed to be speaking.  So, in using the WebEx or Collaborate Ultra options, the instructor needs to make sure all remote mics are turned off, and will need to develop a way to monitor the computer screen to see who is answering/asking a question in the chat function, or who indicates to you that they want to ask/answer/participate using the "raise hand" function. 
    4. Audio could be muted for all participants and interaction could occur through the chat function.
  2. Web Streaming from the classroom computer to a computer and display in another classroom: 
    1. Audio, computer screen, and document camera could be transmitted to the other room. 
      1. Visual of the instructor would only occur if an external camera is available. 
    2. Since it's on the computer screen, it is part of what could be recorded 
    3. Audio and visuals from the other room would not be available.
    4. Chats from the other room would only be possible through the chat function on the classroom computer.  

Students sharing computer screens:  For general access computer lab rooms there is a way for a student's screen to be shared with the instructor's station so that an instructor does not have to walk around and look at a student's screen.  More information about screen sharing capabilities is forthcoming as is information about which computer lab rooms will have this capability.  

Should I use these options for my class? Please consult with CATL about the pros and cons of lecture capture in terms of your discipline, course goals, content accessibility, and student internet access issues. 

 How do I use these options in my classroom and for my class?  

  • IT can provide technical training by appointment on how to set up for lecture capture and web streaming. 
  • IT will be organizing to provide a virtual training session to show the basics of how to record and narrow cast from a classroom. 
  • Documents and training videos are being worked on and will be provided as soon as available. 

Last modified: 07/21/2020

Health practices in the classroom expanding section

Please note that the HSC has its own protocol for PPE and classrooms. The following information refers to UWL classroom buildings.

  • Mandatory mask wearing (instructors, employees, and students) in classrooms and classroom building public spaces (e.g., hallways,study areas, and restrooms).
  • The university will centrally provide for masks for instructors and other employees who do not have their own. Order through the iService desk. Whether your own or university provided please follow the CDC mask guidelines).
  • Disposable masks are available on the hand sanitizer stations in each classroom. 
  • Physical distance parameters of six feet
    • Markers will provided in classrooms for six foot parameters
    • Classrooms will be able to be utilize at ~32% of their seating capacity given physical distancing needs. 50% for labs. ~15-20% for theatre style seating.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned nightly UWL custodians following COVID-19 protocols.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and labs.
  • Cleaning protocols of individual areas (e.g., instructor and student desks) will involve each individual assuming responsibility for wiping down surfaces at the beginning of a class with wipes provided by UWL. Instructors should clean the teaching station including keyboards and microphones upon entering the classroom.
    • Additional and/or more specialized protocols for some spaces may be initiated by individual units (e.g. lab spaces).

Employees/instructors with a health reason associated with not wearing a mask need to work with HR on appropriate health accommodations. Medical documentation may need to be provided. Students with personal health concerns associated with COVID-19 should be directed to the ACCESS center. 

Last modified: 11/13/2020

Inside the classroom, studio or lab expanding section

Movement - Once in the learning space, students and the instructor should stay 6 feet apart and stay masked. However, movement within the space is fine as long as the distance is maintained and some surfaces may need to be sanitized. Movement may require more choreography than pre COVID times, but instruction should continue as normally as possible.

Interaction - Students should be able to ask questions, participate in discussions, and small group options. In very large spaces, students may need to send questions electronically or share their screen (contact ATS for options in this situation).

Last modified: 07/21/2020

Classroom mask management expanding section

Recommended classroom steps for compliance with mandatory masks  
The classroom management issues are the same as an other conflict management in a classroom. A helpful parallel is the use of safety gear such as goggles in a lab. Existing protocol for student nonacademic conduct should be followed.

 Instructor - types of phrases that could be used. 

  • “Please note that wearing a mask while in a campus classroom is mandatory.” 
  • “Masks are mandatory because they protect the health of others and the person wearing them.” 

Potential student responses 

  • I forgot mine. 
    • “Disposable masks are available on the hand sanitizer stations in each classroom. 
    • Feel free to return to your lodging to get yours, they are mandatory in all classrooms. 
  • I can’t wear a mask due to my own health concerns. “Please work with the ACCESS center to work out appropriate reasonable accommodations. Until there is a specific accommodation, masks are mandatory in all classrooms at UWL.” 
  • I won’t. - "Please come back to the classroom when you are willing to wear a mask. The point of the mask is to protect others as well as yourself and it is a campus requirement."
  • I won’tSits down or doesn’t leave.
    • Instructor can choose to tell the students that they will not teach without all students in masks and instructor can leave the room for some or all of the class period. Instructor should inform Student Life and their chair if the latter occurs. 
    • Instructor calls Protective Services 789-9000 and an officer will come for no/low escalation response.

We have prepared this reference with additional information.

Last modified: 09/04/2020

Classroom density information expanding section

Classroom density parameters:

  •  No gatherings of students over ~50 students in a single space,
  • ~six-foot physical distancing
  • mandatory mask wearing by students, mask or shields by instructors
  • 32% of classroom capacity for classrooms; 50% for lab spaces, and specified capacity for theater style and other more fixed seating spaces.

Link to classroom directory with COVID-19 classroom and lab capacity numbers: https://www.uwlax.edu/its/computer-classrooms-labs-and-technology/classroom-directory/ 
 -Note: even if a classroom is listed as having a COVID capacity above 50 - classes should still be capped ~50.

Last modified: 10/15/2020

Instructor development & training expanding section

CATL provides training for online and hybrid teaching development.  

Last modified: 10/15/2020

Non-Instructional considerations expanding section

Student Affairs is working on the co-curriular aspects of students lives such as Residence Life, Athletics, Rec Sports, Student Orgs, and the like. The goal will be to provide as many normal collegiate experiences with proper health considerations.

Murphy Library - 


Last modified: 07/07/2020

Students securing fully online schedule expanding section

Securing a fully online schedule for Spring 2021.

  • If you are immuno compromised or have another personal health related concern associated with higher COVID-19 risk, please contact UWL's' ACCESS center for advising and potential accommodations for Spring 2021.
  • If you would like to secure a fully online schedule for Spring 2021 based on other COVID-19 related reasons:
    • When choosing courses for Spring, search for either OS (online synchronous) and/or OA (online asynchronous) courses under "mode of instruction." For OS courses you need to keep the time/dates of the class free to attend virtually.
    • If you are unable to secure a full-load of online courses, contact the Academic Advising Center (AAC) and they may be able to help. 
    • The ability to provide a fully online schedule will depend on class availability, a student's major and the types of courses needed.  

Last modified: 11/13/2020