Course Planning for Summer 2021

This message was sent on Dec. 9 from Steve Cramer, vice provost for instructional continuity and academic affairs, and Jeff Russell, vice provost for lifelong learning and dean of continuing studies, to all faculty and academic staff.


This message is intended for those teaching in summer 2021. Please disregard if you will not be teaching in the summer.

Dear faculty and academic staff instructors,

We are sharing information on course planning for summer 2021. Your department and school/college may have additional details that they will share with you as we plan for summer 2021 instruction.

COVID-19 vaccines are now on the horizon, but the timing of broad vaccination and herd immunity remains unclear. Summer sessions for 2021 will offer a mix of in-person and remote courses. In-person courses in the summer are expected to continue to observe physical distancing and face covering requirements.

Course modality decisions will again be made by programs consulting with school/college dean’s offices. We expect summer to be transitional to a more normal fall 2021 semester, and you should consider offering in-person laboratory and other such courses to ensure students have the opportunity to begin to catch-up on degree progress if they fell behind during the academic year 2020-21. We know some students have delayed taking fundamental courses with laboratory or studio components until they could do so in person. As always, consider how best to achieve the learning outcomes for each course.

Additionally, please be aware:

  • Due to continuing physical distancing requirements, all course sections with enrollment above 50 will be delivered in remote formats, unless approved at school/college and campus levels.
  • Other course sections will be delivered in in-person, hybrid, remote or online formats, as best suits the nature of the learning experience as described above.
  • We have created new campus guidance for defining modes of instruction and synchronicity, which has been endorsed, in principle, by the University Curriculum Committee. For remote and online courses, instructors are encouraged to carefully consider the mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

We will continue to be in touch with updates and resources, which will also be posted on the Instructional Continuity website and the campus COVID-19 Response website. You can reach out to our Instructional Continuity Team with questions about instruction by emailing instructionalcontinuity@provost.wisc.edu.

Steve Cramer – Vice Provost for Instructional Continuity and Academic Affairs
Jeff Russell – Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning & Dean of Continuing Studies