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Distance Learning | School of Professional Studies | Northwestern University

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To prevent further spread of the Coronavirus, Northwestern University is offering entirely online and blended (face-to-face with online elements) courses. To help faculty members with this transition to remote teaching, the Office of Distance Learning has prepared this information page to assist you in moving your classes online.

Winter Quarter 2021 Reduced to Nine Weeks

To help promote the health of the university community following the 2020 - 2021 Winter Break, Northwestern has postponed the start of Winter Quarter by one week — to Monday, January 11. As a result, the Winter 2021 Quarter will only have nine weeks instead of the usual ten weeks.

If you are teaching in Winter, you may need to modify your course content to accommodate the shortened quarter. This is particularly true of assessments, where it is necessary to balance the instructor's and students' workload with the need to accurately assess student learning. The following resourses are avaible if you need to make changes to your course:

Northwestern University Information & Resources

General information about the university's response to Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its implications for students and faculty;

Northwestern IT Teaching & Learning Technologies has provided these resources for all faculty:

Getting Started with Remote Teaching

We realize that this will be the first time teaching remotely for many instructors. The resources on this page will aid you in converting your course content for use in Canvas and effectively teaching the course at a distance. They have been listed in an order that is intended get you started and then expand your remote teaching skills. Select the tab below that corresponds to the format of the course you need to convert.

Remote Teaching Consultations & Webinars

One-to-One Consultations Sign-up Workshops Registration

The Office of Distance Learning and the Teaching & Learning Technologies Group of Northwestern IT are offering real-time instruction and support for faculty:

  • Remote Teaching Consultations: Schedule an appointment with a member of the Distance Learning staff for a One-to-One Consultation to address your specific questions.
  • Workshops: Instruction on general topics related to remote teaching with the opportunity to have your basic questions addressed in real-time by the facilitator. You can register for the Workshops on the Northwestern IT Teaching & Learning Technologies Eventbrite page.

Tip Sheets


  • Quickstart for Remote Teaching Workshop — A self-paced online workshop for instructors who are new to remote teaching. Facilitators will monitor the workshop discussions to address your questions or concerns. To join, click the link, log into Canvas with your netID, and click "Enroll in Course." You will then be enrolled and can click the button to Go to the Course and start learning!

Videos & Sample Courses

Consider relaxing your class participation and  assignment due date policies if students need accommodations due to illness or travel restrictions.

If you are currently teaching a blended online/face to face (hybrid) course, leverage your existing online materials and course structure.

If you are currently teaching an entirely online course, there should be very little necessary preparation or modifications to your course.

Tip Sheets


Videos & Sample Courses

Consider relaxing your class participation and  assignment due date policies if students need accommodations due to illness or travel restrictions.