NOTICE: This page is under development. For the latest updates, see our COVID news page.

Updated January 13, 2022

Send questions to Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Shirley Lefever at

Spring 2022 Update

  • Instructors need to adhere to the class delivery format (TCI, HYB, IIS, IIE) specified on the course schedule. Students enrolled in classes with expectations based on the course schedule. In an instance where an instructor becomes ill, they do have the latitude to make short-term, immediate changes to their class schedules/delivery plans. This has always been the case. In previous pandemic semesters, some instructors have made advanced contingency plans with colleagues for course assistance in the event they become ill. Though not required, that may be a prudent step to take in planning for the upcoming semester as well.
  • In the case of HYB classes, instructors have latitude in terms of the hybrid mix (in-person vs. online). The instructor can also modify the class plan in terms of which dates will be in-person. However, any changes to a class plan need to be shared with students as early as possible.

Communication with our students is key. Please be proactive in contacting students. We will keep you apprised of any subsequent developments.

Frequently Asked Questions


Questions about the Classroom and Campus


Is there standardized syllabus language or trainings we can share with students to explain the importance of safe behaviors and compliance with campus policies?

Yes. Here is a statement to include in your course syllabus:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation,which continues to evolve. WSU will follow federal, state, and county public health recommendations and mandates in all decisions related to university operations.

Provide a clear statement of expectations on the first day of class promoting campus health and safety.

Have extra disposable masks available in case someone does not have a mask.

Strategic Communications, in coordination with Student Health and Wellness, continues to put out reminders to the campus community about best practices to stay healthy and safe.

What are the current classroom capacities?

Regular classroom capacities will be resumed with no more distancing limitations in the classroom. Instructors may choose, however, to divide their classes as they have previously in order to have fewer students in a classroom at a time to maintain distancing. Our hybrid class codes will allow for flexibility in these course designs.

Can instructors change their classes from IIE/IIS to HYB or from HYB to IIE/IIS?

No. Once registration has begun, any course code change requires all students to be dropped from a class and manually re-added after changing the course code. For this reason, we will not be making any course code changes once registration is open for the semester.

Do Instructors have to provide alternative, online content for students without asking if the request is COVID-19-related?

No. But Instructors need to accommodate students who have registered with ODS. Instructors should be flexible as they would be with any student who is ill. Instructors should not request documentation of health conditions.

What happens if we see another wave of increased COVID-19 positivity?

We will continue to follow federal, state and county guidance. If this requires more restrictive measures, Instructors should be prepared to modify their courses accordingly. Future schedulebuilding should be done with an expectation that another wave could occur and faculty should plan their courses appropriately (either online, hybrid or in-person).

May I use Zoom for office or student hours and not hold in-person office hours?

Instructors are responsible for coordinating schedules with their departmental chairperson and should be available to students regularly.  Instructors must clearly communicate their availability with students.

Can I choose not to come to the campus for the semester?

Instructors are responsible for ensuring quality delivery of their course content and should confirm their schedule and semester plans for teaching, scholarship and service with their department chairperson.

Make sure students and colleagues know how to get in touch with you remotely.

Can I require in-person attendance?

Yes. Students are expected to meet the stated requirements for their courses. Students should refer to the schedule of courses to identify courses that work best for their needs. If a student believes they have a condition which requires accommodation where they cannot attend in person, they should contact the Office of Disability Services. Faculty will work with ODS to meet these identified accommodations.

However, instructors are encouraged consider ways other than in-person attendance to assess participation and/or engagement. These alternative approaches can help ensure we do not disincentivize people to stay home or quarantine when sick. Instructors should ask students to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and instruct students who feel ill to not attend in-person meetings.


Questions about Health


What happens if I get sick and can’t teach?

All instructors should share their classroom continuity plans with their department chair in the event that they get sick. A colleague might help provide coverage of class content, a guest speaker may be willing to present a lecture, instructors might assign a topical video or give a quiz, etc. In addition, adding a backup person into your Bb shell can facilitate communication to your class in an emergency.

If you are quarantined but not sick, remote delivery is always an option.

Always contact your department chairperson in the event sickness keeps you from fulfilling your teaching responsibilities. Employees should follow regular Human Resources guidelines for taking sick leave.

What happens if a student gets sick and cannot attend in-person class sessions? Am I required to create online-only content for them?

Instructors should be responsive to students who are sick, just as they were before the emergence of COVID-19, by helping students make up work and stay on track in class.

What you should do if a student tells you they have tested positive for COVID-19, has been instructed to isolate because of symptoms and/or testing, or is in quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19?

If a faculty or staff member learns directly from a student that the student has tested positive, is being tested, has COVID symptoms, or is in quarantine or isolation, the faculty or staff member should encourage the student to self-report via the Maxient portal. Student Health will receive this information and will reach out to the student to determine what the student's current status is, and what, if any, services from the university the student may require.

Per Kansas HB 2016, faculty and staff SHOULD NOT:

  1. ask the student any questions about where the student has been or who the student has been around, or
  2. report the positive case to the class members.

Given the restrictions of HB 2016, which was enacted to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information collected through contact tracing, all "contact tracing” is conducted through the state and local county health departments. Accordingly, the University is unable to conduct contact tracing and cannot and will not (by law) mandate contact tracing for any person.

The Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD), in conjunction with KDHE, "will investigate COVID-19-positive people (cases) tested through the Health Department, cases from reported clusters and potential clusters, cases reported from schools, cases in school-aged children not reported from schools, and other cases as resources allow.” SCHD has provided web information on the COVID-19 modified quarantine process.

If an instructor has health and safety concerns and does not want to teach in person, can they continue to teach remotely?

Courses need to be taught as they are scheduled in the course catalog. Courses that are scheduled as TCI need to be taught in person. HYB courses can contain both remote and in-person instruction. Any course that is fully online (synchronous or asynchronous) must be coded as IIS or IIE. Instructors need to work with their department chair when establishing their course plans and doing schedule building for the next semester. 

Can instructors take their mask off to teach?

Yes.  In accordance with recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effective Friday, March 4, masks will no longer be required for students, employees or visitors, regardless of vaccination status, while on or in Wichita State University premises or while attending campus activities or athletic events (unless otherwise noted). This includes all indoor and outdoor campus locations.

Can an instructor require masks in the classroom or when students visit their office?

No. In accordance with recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effective Friday, March 4, masks will no longer be required for students, employees or visitors, regardless of vaccination status, while on or in Wichita State University premises or while attending campus activities or athletic events (unless otherwise noted). This includes all indoor and outdoor campus locations.

If an instructor has students who want to socially distance and students who don’t, can they designate part of their classroom for distancing?

Instructors can manage seating in their classroom as they choose. We encourage instructors to spread students out in the classroom to the best extent possible.

Can instructors ask students if they have been vaccinated?

No. We cannot ask questions that violate people’s health privacy.

Can instructors require students to be vaccinated if they want to be in-person?

No. We can encourage people to take advantage of getting a vaccine but cannot require it.

How can instructors manage a situation where a student doesn’t feel safe to attend in-person classes?

Students can see the course modality in the schedule of courses and should choose courses that fit their needs. Students can be encouraged to visit with their advisor to see if an online option is available for them. Instructors may consider replicating in-person learning experiences in a remote or online format when their program provides only one section of a course.

The emotional, financial and social disruptions caused by COVID-19 uncertainty have created serious challenges for many of our students. It is important that instructors refer students who might need assistance to the WSU CARE Team to learn options for addressing mental health and wellness during COVID-19.

If a student believes they have a condition which requires accommodation where they cannot attend in person, they should contact the Office of Disability Services. Instructors will work with ODS to meet these identified accommodations.

There may be some classroom management options that will help a student feel more comfortable. For example, suggest that they arrive early and leave last so they do not have to get too close to others as they enter the room.

Is a condition that makes someone high-risk for COVID-19 complications something that gets legal accommodation protections?

If a student claims a disability related to COVID-19, you should refer the student to the Office of Disability Service (ODS) by calling (316) 978-3309 or sending email to to advise ODS of the name of the student so they can reach out to the student. There are certain disabilities that could make a person at higher risk for Covid-19 complication. ODS will determine if the student can receive legal accommodation protections.


Questions about Technology


Is there Information Technology (IT) support for personal devices for students who are learning remotely?

The help desk provides support for MyWSU ID Password, school Email, school software downloads, and assistance with phishing emails. They can be reached at 978-4357. We also have 24/7 support for our learning management system, Blackboard (Bb) at 1-855-978-1787.

Are loaner laptops still available for students?

The university will continue to make Chromebooks available to students for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students should contact the WSU Help Desk at 316-978-HELP, Option 1 or use the form to request a Chromebook.


Questions about Teaching Online


What online test proctoring options are available?
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser + Respondus Monitor
    • Provided by WSU as a free tool
    • Customized browser that “locks down” the testing environment within Blackboard
    • Options include recorded video of the student taking the exam reviewable by instructor for evidence of cheating
    • Limits what students can do on their computer while testing
    • Limited to exams delivered through Blackboard
  • Examity (Starting Spring 2022)
    • In an effort to help lower student costs for proctoring services, Wichita State University has joined KBOR’s proctoring contract with Examity. This service will replace ProctorU as of Spring Term 2022.
      • Examity can be set up for four different levels of proctoring
        • Automated Proctoring Standard: Recorded with artificial intelligence flagging irregularities - without a proctor audit ($3.75/test)
        • Automated Proctoring Premium: with a human audit of the recording ($5.75/test)
        • Live Proctoring Standard: live authentication, session recorded and reviewed by AI, followed by Examity review of the session ($11 first hour/$5 each additional hour)
        • Live Proctoring Premium: Overseen by a live proctor the entire session ($12 first hour/$5 each additional hour)
    • Faculty who are wanting to use student-paid proctoring options in their classes are encouraged to learn about Examity directly from the Examity website.
    • We will be working on installing the Examity’s Blackboard integration in December so that it is available for Spring courses.

Learn more about Computer-Based Proctoring

How do I maintain test integrity in online courses?

There are a variety of tools -- beyond the proctoring methods listed above -- to handle exam security. For example, in the case of multiple-choice exams, we recommend using randomized pools of questions and randomizing the order of potential responses, so students get exam questions in a unique format.

Authentic assessments are exams or activities that asks students to demonstrate mastery of material in more authentic ways using projects, essays, simulations, and other activities. For ideas about how to incorporate authentic assessments into your class, email your request to WSU Office of Instruction Resources (OIR).

Promote adherence to an “Honor Code” -- a statement students are required to read and ‘sign’ before access to their exam is available. Honor codes can be added to any Blackboard assessment. OIR can provide a file for instructors to upload to their course or OIR can add and deploy it in your course as a zero-point quiz.

What fees will be associated with different modes of delivery?

Students can enroll in whatever type of course best fits their learning needs without having to worry about differential fees for online courses.

What accessibility issues do I need to consider in my online course design?

Content developed for one-time delivery in remote formats that is NOT planned for reuse is not required to meet the same accessibility standards that IIE (fully online) courses must meet, but they must meet the accommodation needs (as determined by the Office of Disability Services) of all students who are enrolled in the class at the time of delivery.

Content developed for fully online courses are required to meet WSU accessibility standards -- to learn more about these standards, follow this link to information about accessibility for online instruction at WSU. Basic accessibility standards include:

  • All course texts available in an accessible format (screen reader accessible PDFs, ePub, etc.)
  • All video is captioned, or a transcript is provided
  • All audio has a transcript or other text equivalent provided
  • Any required software is accessible to students with visual or fine motor disabilities

Instructors are encouraged to consider long-term intent when designing remotely delivered content and create accessible materials if they potentially will be reused (including documents, recorded video, live video, additional software, etc.). For information about Accessibility in the new teaching environment, go to the Accessibility and Covid-19 page


Questions about Hybrid Teaching


Who decides what in-person contact is required for my class?

Faculty determine the design of their courses, but must follow the public health mandates established by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Can I charge my students for test kits, proctored exams, etc.?

We try to keep costs of instruction as low as possible for students but recognize that some additional costs may be necessary for class. These costs should be clearly communicated to students in the course syllabus. No additional costs should be passed on to students mid-semester. Note: instructors are encouraged to consider Open Alternative Textbooks (OAT) to reduce costs for students.

Learn more about OAT course design


Questions about Communication


How will WSU communicate with students and their families about COVID-19-related campus changes?

The WSU COVID-19 News website is regularly updated by WSU Strategic Communications.

Students should stay connected to the university by regularly checking emails and announcements in Shocker Blast.

How will students know if my class has required in-person meetings?

Courses with TCI (traditional classroom instruction) and HYB (hybrid) codes should have some in-person class requirements. These codes can be seen in the schedule of courses. All course requirements, including attendance expectations, should be communicated to students in the syllabus, which should be posted in the course Bb shell. Once classes are underway, it is the responsibility of the instructor to communicate any changes to course delivery to their students.


Questions about Accessibility

For information about Accessibility in the new teaching environment, go to the Accessibility and Covid-19 page.


General Questions


What will the Fall 2022 schedule look like?

The Fall schedule will be the standard academic calendar

Course modalities will include TCI (Traditional Class Instruction), HYB (combo of in-person and online content), HYO (online with in-person exams), IIE (asynchronous online) and IIS (synchronous online).

We remain in an unpredictable climate and future course planning should take this into account. As departments build their schedule of courses, they should choose class modalities that will fit best their students’ and faculty needs. We want to avoid unexpected, last minute changes to schedules that are disruptive to students..