Spring 2020

Archive Instructor information - COVID-19 - Spring 2020

 Fall 2020 Instruction

CATL's “Keep Teaching” guide to delivering content online 
CATL's how to contact staff  

CATL's student "Keep Learning" guide
Murphy Learning Center online tutoring

Calendar Summary -
                   - May 11-15: Finals Week
                   - May 16: "Couch Commencement" opens
F2F Commencement has been postponed until Saturday, August 22 for those who can attend (pending public health recommendations).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS regarding changes to teaching for instructors.

Spring '20 Instructional Experience expanding section

Data and results regarding instruction Spring 2020:

Surveys of experiences with emergency remote teaching:

Overall Grades:

Spring 2020 (COVID-19) compared to Spring 2019 - grades were higher in Spring 2020.  

table of grades 2020

table of grades 2019

Dismissal for GPA - 200 in the Fall 2019; 160 Spring 2020. We view the Spring number as high given the chance to 'W' as late as the last week of classes.

S/US "Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory" grade change request. 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.

Last modified: 06/29/2020

How to manage slower internet and low bandwidth expanding section

Useful information about how to think about and manage slower internet https://kb.uwlax.edu/99645.

Last modified: 03/31/2020

How should office hours be handled? expanding section

Please make sure to provide students with a set time when they know they will be able to reach you virtually - these times/days of the week should be known to students no later than March 30. See CATL’s information on potential modalities for interacting with students: https://www.uwlax.edu/catl/keep-teaching/#tm-communicating-with-students  

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Virtual academic advising expanding section

DOCUMENTATION: Academic Advising Center/Career Service's excellent information about virtual one-on-one meetings with students through Teams with best practices for high quality advising, tips for the use of shared screens, directing students to resources, and the use of notes in Navigate.

VIDEOS: The document includes links to two associated videos. A 2-minute video tutorial regarding use of Teams and another 4-minute video that shows best practices for an advising session by displaying a mock advising session between an AACCS staff member and one of UWL's peer advisors.  

USING TEAMS to connect with someone without a UWL email address:
Teams has the ability to invite users from outside the University for voice calls, video calls, and screen sharing.  Sharing files is not an option. 

In Teams, click on the Calendar button (left side). In the upper right corner, you can then do New Meeting and send the notification to any email address that you’d like. (Note: Meet Now only works for connecting with people on-campus.)

Last modified: 04/02/2020

Texting Students through Navigate expanding section

Step-by-step instructions for texting students through Navigate.

Please note the helpful information below for sending text messages to students.

  • You only have 160 characters, so be precise.
  • You need to identify yourself, because students will not know who is texting them.
  • If a student replies, it will come to your email inbox.
    1. If you text more than 100 students they will not be able to respond.
  • You can reply to the email and it will go back as a text to the student.
  • An example: This is Dr. Lopez (Bio105). You haven’t logged into Canvas yet. You need to engage with materials on Canvas to successfully complete this course. Please reply.

Last modified: 03/26/2020

Finals and online courses expanding section

Finals during Spring 2020.

Study Days - no assignments or exams should be due on the weekend between the end of classes and finals week.

Final Exam Times - An instructor may wish to open a final exam earlier than the scheduled time; however, students should not have to complete a final prior to the scheduled time. The schedule exists so that students don't have their exams bunched up as often and have more time to study. This holds true with online education as well. If all the students elect to take a final earlier, that is fine as long as no student has to do so.

If an instructor is going to open a final "only" during a specified time, it needs to be the assigned final exam time. 

Last modified: 03/30/2020

Online Student Engagement expanding section

Instructions and screenshots on how to tell if students have engaged with Canvas and/or specific Canvas materials.

Best practices in online learning emphasize the need for student engagement and frequent, high-quality interaction between instructor and students, and this expectation for high-quality interaction is considered in our accreditation from HLC to offer distance education.  

High-quality online interaction involves:

Last modified: 04/02/2020

Access to classrooms? expanding section

As of Friday, March 20, 2020 all building access has been suspended for all employees except those identified as essential. Should you need access for materials essential to your ability to teach your courses or conduct your scholarship, you will be asked to work with your dean who will recommend to the Provost. If granted, the Provost will notify Protective Services. A date and time will need to be suggested and the individual will need to call protective services to be let into the building at the pre-arranged time.

UWL is both hoping and planning on being back in the Fall. UW System had indicated the final decision regarding a return of students to campuses will be made no later than July 10.  If we are fully online in the fall, we are planning on options for controlled access to lab spaces if needed to prepare online materials.


Last modified: 04/21/2020

Physical location of instructors? expanding section

Instructors do not need to physically be on campus in the La Crosse area. All instructional and service work should be conducted remotely. 

The university has shifted to requiring only essential personnel to report to campus only when on site duties are required. Essential personnel have been determined by the vice chancellors and deans and know their status.  Alternatives, modifications, or delays to scholarly pursuits that require on campus access should be discussed with department chairs. Personnel reviews for IAS and Faculty will reflect the COVID-19 crisis.

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Virtual meetings "vs" online teaching collaboration expanding section

For teaching technology options associated with collaboration with students please follow CATL recommendations.

For technology associated with business meetings with colleagues - please follow ITS recommendations

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Are all interactions with students cancelled? expanding section

Group instruction is being moved online or to another modality. Individual interactions with students should continue virtually. Instructors are encouraged to have frequent and meaningful interactions with students via the many options for technology platforms. Advising can/will take place virtually.

Last modified: 03/24/2020

What are the expectations for student workers (work study, student workers, GAs)? expanding section

GAs are UWL employees and are expected to complete their work hours remotely as arranged with a supervisor. Student workers who cannot work remotely (due to lack of access to technology and/or types of duties) should discuss with their supervisors and HR. Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible. 

Graduate Assistant (GA) specific information  - GAs (who are not able to telecommute) are eligible for UW System COVID-19 Leave.

Last modified: 03/24/2020

What if a student indicates concerns with interfacing with materials online? expanding section

Students with documented disabilities associated with an online format such as screen time or hearing should work with the ACCESS center who will work with instructors. Asynchronous materials will help students with screen time concerns. 

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Is the semester being “extended”? expanding section

No. The semester will conclude at the scheduled time.  Instructors need to decide what material can be dropped and/or how to manage course goals with the remaining time and structure. 

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Are there any changes to academic deadlines? Withdrawal date? expanding section

For individual courses, the deadline has been extended to the last day of classes - Friday, May 8th.  The drop will be recorded as a “W” on the transcript.

For a withdrawal from all courses, the deadline has been extended to the last day of finals – Friday, May 15th.  These drops are recorded as a "WP" or "WF" on the transcript.

Last modified: 04/01/2020

What if a course is already online? How to handle the “cancelled classes" week? expanding section

If you are already teaching an online course that spans the week after Spring Break, please change any deadlines that would have occurred the week of March 23, 2020 to the following week(s) so that students can have as consistent of an experience this semester.

Last modified: 03/24/2020

How should an instructor think about “clinical hours” – internships/practicum/student teaching, etc? expanding section

Generally speaking, the placement site should be the driving factor in determining hours, followed by any accrediting body.  

Student teachers – should continue to follow the hours and expectations of the school district in which they are teaching.  The School of Education (SOE) has/will messaged student teachers, field students, cooperating teachers, and principals. 

Hours associated with accredited programs – please follow accrediting guidelines which often provide individual programs with significant latitude.  

Traditional internship hours – instructors should provide as much latitude as possible to students to complete hours and/or substitute experiences. Incomplete grades are not recommended unless the goal of the experience cannot be obtained. 

Career Services has communicated to supervisors/sites and to students. See communications below.

Last modified: 03/24/2020

Summer '20 Instructional Workgroup expanding section

Workgroup membership: Aric Opdahl (Chemistry), Peter Wilker (Micro), Brad Nichols (Art), Tom Jesse (English Education, Stacy Trisler (Marketing) ,  Cate Wiza (Student Association President), Dean Karl Kunkel (CASSH), Jan Von Ruden (Registrar). Convenor - Provost Betsy Morgan

6/16/2020 - link to listening session with instructors;   6/17/2020 - link to listening session with instructors (Note - the sessions were similar in content and questions);  Flowchart depicting instructional accommodation options based on the public health parameters.

Workgroup charge – work concluded by ~July 7 2020

  • Provide recommendations regarding priority for classroom changes based on physical distancing. Recommend which types of undergraduate and graduate courses should have priority for larger spaces to allow for more/all of the class to meet in terms of pedagogy and retention issues (e.g., hands-on courses, 1st year courses).  
  • Discuss implications for students and instructors of potential calendar changes to Fall 2020 – start and/or end dates for on-campus components  
  • Discuss the implications of the changes in the physical layout of classes based on health protocols
    • Implications for student behavior – guidance to instructors and UWL for how to help convey and manage issues such as mask wearing and desk wipe-downs
    • Implications for instructors
    • Tech needs associated with speaking to a larger group while masked
    • Special considerations for labs and other hands-on courses
  • Provide recommendations to best ways to respond to faculty/IAS questions and concerns that arise.
  • Provide recommendations for best ways to message and prepare students for a more varied set of educational experiences.  
  • Provide recommendations for promoting academic support for students (such as virtual tutoring MLC).
  • Provide recommendations to SEC for any policy considerations that should be under consideration for Fall for follow-up by appropriate governance groups.  And, recommendations for general teaching guidelines during COVID-19 (buddy instructors; attendance policy leniency, etc.)
Classroom Tech Taskforce:  Tom Jesse (convenor), Stacy Trisler, Tim Gongaware, Terry Wirkus, and Pete Sedivy.


  • Explore the issues of technology needs associated with COVID-19.
  • Microphone availability for classrooms currently without and best types to use with masks (or shields).
  • Standing microphones in large rooms for students to use to ask questions.
  • If streaming is desired:
    • For a classroom wired for streaming - are there options for direct stream to another classroom?
    • Recommendations for best ways to stream from a regular classroom - use of a software with the built-in video options in the console?  
  • Other issues associated with the reduced density in classrooms, mask wearing and/or hybrid models.


On and off campus health behavior Taskforce: Peter Wilker (micro faculty) – convener, Cate Wiza (student), Cole Howard (student), Keely Rees (public health faculty), Cassandra Worner  (Student Wellness Coordinator), 
Victoria “Tori” Carlson (Residence Life), Lisa Klein (Community Engagement Coordinator), & Nick Ragner (University Communications)    


  • Recommend/design campaigns for students regarding health behavior on and off campus (Social media, Res Hall programming, Instructor role, Other). 
  • Recommend/design campaigns associated with having students consider reducing trips from La Crosse to other areas (hometowns, etc.) throughout the semester. 
  • Discuss potential relationships with community partners to promote good health behaviors (e.g., Tavern League; Oktoberfest). 
  • Discuss potential of Canvas-based training and student pledge for on campus and off campus health behavior. 
  • Determine some appropriate timelines. 
  • Other aspects the taskforce feels would be helpful. 

Last modified: 11/13/2020

Fall 2020 messaging to students expanding section

Mid-June - all undergraduates received the message shown below and graduate students received some similar messaging.  In early August students will get an email with their own schedules that indicate the most up-to-date information about each course's modality.  After July 27th most students will be able to make schedule changes if alternative courses or course times are available. 

EMAIL TO STUDENTS (sent 6/19/2020):

What will Fall 2020 courses be like for UWL students?

UWL is working hard preparing for Fall 2020 and is excited to think about having students back on campus. In terms of courses, UWL is planning on a variety of class formats for Fall 2020 that will align with public health recommendations and best educational practices. Unless something changes, masks will be mandatory for students and instructors, ~six-foot physical distancing will be in place, and no single course will exceed ~50 students. Consequently, each of you is likely to have a blend of course types as part of your class schedule. We expect that the format of courses will be changing throughout July as we better understand the impact of the size limit and physical distancing needs on each classroom’s capacity. In early August, we hope to send you the most up-to-date version of your class schedule that will best reflect the final format of your classes for Fall. Students will not be able to change sections or courses or courses until the end of July due to this COVID-19 related flux.

 Due to physical distancing needs in the classroom, there will be many classes that cannot be held on campus with the full attendance of every enrolled student at the same time. Therefore, in addition to online and in-person, you may find that some of your classes will be listed as hybrid and we suspect that a hybrid class format may be less well known to you. Hybrid courses (sometimes referred to as blended) have both virtual engagement components (such as online course content) and on-campus meetings. They will show on your schedule as having a classroom with a specific time and place; but, students should plan on not physically attending class as often as you would in an in-person on-campus class. The specific dates you will need to attend will not be known to you until the semester starts and your instructor will let you know the expectations. However, keep that time period free for the class. The hybrid model is different for every class based on the educational goals, but the types of materials you might be expected to complete online are readings, videos, individual assignments, group assignments, quizzes, exams, and discussion boards. For courses to be held on campus, UWL will be prioritizing courses that have hands-on components (such as labs and the visual & performing arts) and classes that first-year students are more likely to take. And, our faculty are preparing for creative ways to make use of the time students can be together to more richly engage with course materials.

How do I prepare for Fall 2020?

As you already know, COVID-19 means unexpected changes that require quick responses. All UWL students, faculty, and staff need to be ready to be flexible if needed. In particular, the need for a class to go online quickly for a short or long period of time is a reality for all students in the country this Fall. Part of being ready and flexible is checking your UWL email daily – email is still the primary way that the university and instructors will be communicating with you. Also – closer to the start of the Fall semester, the university will be providing more information about the availability of co-curricular activities (e.g., the REC, student clubs, etc.) as the details about how to provide these options more safely becomes known.

This summer, UWL instructors in every department are working hard at developing innovative ways to provide course content and applied activities for students that will work in a variety of formats. In addition, by August over 90% of our instructors will have completed intensive training in online and/or hybrid teaching development. We are looking forward to having students back on campus and for learning to take place in a lot of different ways.


Last modified: 11/13/2020

Classroom prioritization - Fall/Spring expanding section

Prioritization of classes - criteria for access to on campus labs and classroom space

  1. All lab classes (just the lab component).
  2. Other experiential – (instructor/department will need to articulated why on campus is pedagogically necessary)
  3. Gateway classes – list of UWL Gateway courses
  4. First year Seminar courses
  5. Other First year classes  
  6. Other pedagogical reason – (instructor/department will need to articulated why on campus is pedagogically necessary)

Last modified: 11/17/2020