Instructor FAQs Winter Session 2022-2023

Updated November 10, 2022

What are the key dates for Winter Session?

The full Winter Session calendar is available on the Registrar’s website.

Key dates include:

December 19, 2022

Winter Session coursework begins

December 23, 26, and 27, 2022 and January 2, 2023

University holidays; classes recessed

January 13, 2023

Winter Session ends

January 18, 2023

Final grades due in Canvas by 5:00 p.m.

Are there best practices in teaching a condensed-format course?

CELT has created a Quick Guide and website on teaching a course in a condensed format. High-quality condensed-format courses allow the instructor to focus on the outcomes of academic rigor and efficiency.

Where can I go to get help with my Canvas questions?

Canvas@ISU on the CELT website provides Canvas resources for both instructors and students.

Will I be able to get assistance with technology during Winter Session?

Information Technology Services will be available to support students and instructors.

Given the accelerated nature of the Winter Session, how should instructors communicate course expectations when the course begins?

At least a week before classes start, send an introductory e-mail to your students highlighting key information for the Winter Session. Include information on how students can contact you, if there are synchronous components to the course with required participation, and other expectations that will help students be successful. If possible, make the course ‘visible’ in Canvas at the same time so students can begin exploring the course before the Winter Session starts. Keep in mind students who are taking your course may be living in multiple different time zones. We recommend that faculty maintain the depth, breadth, and rigor of a full-term course.  Instructors are in the best position to recognize if a majority of the class has fallen behind and are in the best position to make adjustments.

What are the expectations for student assignments during university holidays?

In light of the accelerated nature of Winter Session, we expect and understand that course work will carry over into the weekends. However, classes are officially recessed on university holidays of December 23, 26, and 27, 2022 and January 2, 2023. Instructors should avoid scheduling assignment/exam/quiz due dates on those dates.

How many hours should students expect to be working on their course based on credit hour load?

The Winter Session is a significantly compressed time frame of just 16 instructional days. The table below illustrates the minimum workload expectations for students based on the standard measures of time spent on coursework (2,720 minutes/credit hour).



Minimum Student Time Working on Course


Minimum Student Time Working on Course

Total Hours

1 credit

11 hrs/wk

45 hours

2 credits

22 hrs/wk

90 hours

3 credits

34 hrs/wk

135 hours

What is the guidance for instructors about online student engagement during this compressed session?

The same guidance posted on the SVPP website for online student engagement during a regular semester is relevant for Winter Session. As an example, faculty teaching a three-credit course during the four-week Winter Session should include a minimum of 10 hours of engagement each week. Examples of engagement include:

  • Interactive feedback regarding a student’s coursework;
  • Responses to student questions about course content;
  • Facilitated group discussions about course content or competencies;
  • Direct instruction (synchronous interactive sessions);
  • Other instructional techniques that provide similar engagement to an in-class setting;

Will advisers/faculty be expected to send out progress reports in the high DFW rate Winter Session courses?


Will there be a midterm grade submission equivalent?

No. Because all grades will be posted in AccessPlus as part of the spring semester, it is not possible to create a midterm grade submission equivalent for Winter Session. However, faculty are strongly encouraged to schedule some type of grade assessment prior to the midpoint of the Winter Session.

When must grades be submitted?

Grade reports are due in your Canvas course on January 18 by 5:00 pm, which is the second day of Spring Semester 2023. It is important to meet this deadline so the necessary prerequisite checks can be completed as soon as possible for those students who have taken a Winter Session course as a prerequisite to a spring semester course.

Is it possible to assign an incomplete grade for Winter Session?

Yes. An incomplete grade can be assigned assuming the standard incomplete grade policy is followed.

Will students complete course evaluations for Winter Session? Will this data be used in our annual reviews and P&T files?

Students will have the opportunity to complete a course evaluation using the same set of course evaluation questions used in fall 2022.

What resources will be available to students during the Winter Session?

A full set of student support services will be available to students during Winter Session including, Student Accessibility Services, the Dean of Students Office, and the Academic Success Center.

Where can I find additional information about the Winter Session?

Additional information about Winter Session, including a detailed FAQ for students and advisors is available on the Winter Session website. As additional updates become available, they will be added to that website.