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Winter Quarter FAQ

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Winter Quarter

You are reading the Winter Quarter FAQ.

Last updated 1/10/2022

The information provided is intentionally broad, and it may not address every issue or question that arises in a specific course. There may be exceptional situations that arise and cannot be predicted. In these cases, reach out to your department staff, relevant Dean’s Office, resources identified on the Teach Anywhere website, or the Office of the University Registrar for assistance. Please know that the individuals fielding these questions may not be able to respond quickly, and you may need to rely on these FAQs.

NOTE: The information below will be updated periodically.

Winter Quarter 2021-22 Instruction

Why will courses start online in Winter Quarter 2021-22?

The shift to online instruction will permit students to stay on track with their studies if they are delayed to campus, or need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. It will also enable instructors to start their classes with fewer disruptions as a result of possible student absences during the first two weeks of the quarter.

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Are instructors expected to return to campus for the start of Winter Quarter 2021-22?

Yes, instructors and other teaching staff (e.g., graduate student TAs, CAs) are expected to return to campus for the start of Winter quarter.

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Does the move to online courses at the start of Winter Quarter 2021-22 mean that our classrooms are unsafe?

No, classrooms remain low risk environments because of the safety precautions (e.g., testing, masking, and other protocols) that have been put in place to protect our community.

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Can students attend in-person lab classes or music lessons the first two weeks of the quarter?

No, all classes including lab classes and music lessons, will be online the first two weeks of Winter quarter.

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Can instructors hold their courses outdoors for the first two weeks of the quarter?

No, all instruction will occur online for the first two weeks of the quarter. The move to online instruction is not due to health and safety concerns, but to minimize potential disruptions to courses due to student absences.

How will courses be offered in Winter Quarter?

All courses will start online for the first two weeks of the quarter beginning January 3, 2022. Graduate-level courses and undergraduate courses that must be taught in-person (e.g., labs, design projects, art practice, performance-based) will resume in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 18, at the beginning of Week 3. All other undergraduate courses will remain online during Week 3 and resume in-person instruction on Monday, January 24, at the beginning of Week 4.

Instructors should reach out to students as soon as possible to confirm the modality of their courses for Week 3 (online or in-person).

Courses with prior approval for fully-remote instruction in Winter quarter will not change.

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Why is the return to in-person instruction phased across Week 3 and Week 4 of Winter quarter?

As noted in the Provost’s January 7 email, classrooms continue to be low-risk environments. Phased resumption of in-person instruction is being enacted to minimize instructional disruption as a result of students who are in isolation upon return to campus.

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How should an instructor decide if an undergraduate course should return to in-person instruction in Week 3?

In determining whether or not their course must be taught in-person, instructors should consider the facilities and materials required for instruction such as:

  • access to and work in a specific location and/or facility
  • materials that cannot be accessed remotely
  • specific safety measures and direct supervision
  • co-located group work & collaboration essential to achieve the project’s goal

Some examples of courses that may need to resume in-person instruction on January 18 include laboratory, art practices, design projects, and performance-based courses. Instructors should consult with department chairs and program directors if they have questions about whether their course should resume in-person instruction during Week 3, January 18, or Week 4, January 24.

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If a course has both an undergraduate and graduate offering (e.g., a 100-level and a 300-level), when should in-person instruction resume?

Generally, a course that is cross-listed with both a graduate and undergraduate course number will resume in-person instruction on January 18. Courses that are primarily designed for undergraduate students and have a majority undergraduate enrollment may choose to begin in-person instruction in week 4, January 24. If the enrollment is evenly split between graduate and undergraduate students and the course can continue to be taught online, the instructor has discretion on when to resume in-person instruction.

Instructors should consult with department chairs and program directors if they have questions about whether their course should resume in-person instruction during Week 3, January 18, or Week 4, January 24.

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If an undergraduate student is enrolled in a graduate-level course, should they attend in-person beginning January 18?

Yes, an undergraduate student enrolled in graduate-level courses should attend these courses in-person beginning Week 3 unless the instructor notifies students that the course will continue online.

Instructors should reach out to students as soon as possible to confirm the modality of their courses for Week 3 (online or in-person).

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Under what circumstances might an instructor move an in-person course online temporarily?

An instructor may move their course online as a temporary measure under the following circumstances:

  • Many students are not able to attend due to COVID illness/isolation
  • One or more individuals on instruction team are not able to attend due to COVID illness/isolation
  • Instructors who need to stay home to care for family members with COVID illness/isolation or care for children whose schools/daycares have been closed
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If an undergraduate course has a field trip scheduled in Week 3, can the trip proceed as planned or should it be rescheduled?

Off-campus field trips scheduled in the first three weeks of the quarter should be rescheduled to a later date.

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What resources are available for instructors to support temporary online instruction?

See the sections elsewhere on this site about Classroom Technology and Technology and Support for Instructors and TAs.

Instructors should contact canvashelp@stanford.edu.

The staff at the Center for Teaching and Learning is available for consultation. Their Remote Teaching Guide includes helpful information for moving instruction online.

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How can an instructor support students who want to “shop” their class before the add/drop deadline?

Although in-person “shopping” will not be available during weeks 1-2, Canvas has a setting to allow instructors to make their course available to students who are not enrolled. LTS has instructions on how to open a course in Canvas to Stanford students.

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Will instructors have access to their assigned classrooms if they or other members of the instruction team want to teach from those spaces during weeks 1-3?

The Registrar’s Office will be removing classroom reservations for the first two weeks of the quarter to maintain an accurate record of room utilization for AB 685 reporting and COVID cleaning protocols. Any instructor who would like to teach remotely from their assigned classroom should email the Registrar’s Office (reg-courses@stanford.edu) no later than 24-hours prior to their first class meeting.

Beginning Week 3, classrooms will be open and available, unless the Registrar’s Office or department contacts an instructor with different instructions.

For locally-managed classrooms, instructors should work with their department staff.

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What should an instructor do if they cannot teach their course online for the first weeks of the quarter?

Instructors are encouraged to refer to CTLs Remote Teaching Guide and other resources for adapting their pedagogy, content, and course assignments for the first weeks of online instruction.

If an instructor cannot move their course online for pedagogical reasons, they have the option to reconfigure the course material to fit into an 8-week course.

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What is the expectation for student attendance during the first weeks of the quarter?

Students are expected to attend their courses online synchronously during the first two weeks of Winter quarter. Because students will be returning to campus, instructors do not need to record class meetings or offer asynchronous instruction to accommodate students in other time zones.

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Where can students attend their online class or study if there are too many disruptions in their student residence?

Healthy students not in isolation or quarantine may need a quiet place to attend online classes and study. Some options include the Lathrop Learning HUB (open 9-5pm; 24-hr space also available), clusters in residence halls, and libraries.

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What should a student do if they require course texts and are unable to pick them up due to isolation or quarantine?

Undergraduate students should contact their Undergraduate Advising Director for assistance.

Graduate students should identify a friend or other student in the course who may be able to pick-up the course materials and deliver it. If a graduate student is unable to identify a resource to help them, they should contact the Graduate Life Office to discuss possible options.

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Can instructors hold in-person office hours?

Instructors and academic advisors may meet one-on-one with students during the phased transition period to in-person instruction. These meetings can occur in-person (indoors and outdoors) or via Zoom.

Instructors should continue to hold office hours for groups of students online until the start of week 4, Monday January 24.

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Can instructors hold in-person review sessions?

Instructors should hold review sessions for midterms or other assessments online until the start of Week 4, Monday January 24.

Instructors are encouraged to offer some online meeting options for students who may not be able to attend due to COVID isolation.

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Can students meet in-person to do group work for a class?

To ensure that all students have equal access to completing group assignments, it is not recommended that students meet in-person to work on group assignments. It is recommended that group assignment work be completed online so that students with red Health Check badges or delayed travel to campus are not disadvantaged.

For any in-person group meetings, rooms should be large enough to accommodate all students and avoid crowding.

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Can departments and programs hold in-person academic events such as job talks, colloquia, and other academic gatherings?

At this time, there are no other changes to university policies or operations. Departmental and programmatic academic events may continue to be held in person. It may be helpful to move such programs online or offer an online option to ensure that they are accessible to all members of your community.

When conducting in-person events, all health and safety protocols in effect at the time of the event must be followed. Continue to check university policies related to visitors, gatherings and meetings, and travel for updates and changes.

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Can instructors provide course kits to students to support instruction in the first three weeks of the quarter?

Given logistical challenges including the need to arrange kit drop-off through R&DE (students with a red Health Check badge), instructors may arrange a kit drop off in Week 1 for the second week of instruction. If the kit has previous EH&S approval for use, there is no need to seek re-approval. If the kit has not been approved for prior quarters of instruction, it is not reasonable to obtain approval and distribute the kits within the first two weeks of Winter quarter.

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What should an instructor do if a student in their course does not want to return to campus for the quarter?

If a student does not want to return to campus, they should file a Leave of Absence.

Instructors are not required to offer recordings or remote instruction for students who choose not to come to campus.

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When is the deadline for students to request a Leave of Absence for Winter quarter?

The leave of absence deadline for students to receive a full refund has been extended to Friday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. Details are available on the Registrar Office’s website for graduate and undergraduate students.

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