Summer 2020 Instructional Plan

Western Michigan University continues to closely monitor the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff are the University's primary concern in this fluid situation. As the disease continues to spread in Michigan, the University will move all Summer I and Summer II courses to a distance education format, effective through the end of the Summer II session (August 14, 2020).

WMU is committed to ensuring that students have every opportunity to make progress toward completion of their degrees. As part of this process, all course schedules pertaining to the Summer II session will be updated to reflect online education.



Faculty Champions

WMUx has appointed a number of experienced online instructors from all academic colleges to serve as faculty champions. Working in tandem with the instructional support and course development team from WMUx, faculty champions will facilitate the acceleration of the course development process by hosting virtual training sessions on a variety of topics, promoting best practices, consulting on the creation of storyboards, and assisting with other critical elements of the development process.


Stephen Hasenick Aviation Aviation
Cathryn Bailey CAS Gender and Women's Studies
Linda Hanson CAS Chemistry
Michael Ryan CAS Economics
Gwen Tarbox CAS English
Larry Mallak CEAS Indust & Entrep Eng & Eng Mgmt
James Springstead CEAS Chemical and Paper Engineering
Kimberly Doudna CEHD Family and Consumer Sciences
Brian Horvitz CEHD Ed Leadership, Research & Tech
Holly Grieves CHHS Occupational Therapy
Lisa Singleterry CHHS Bronson School of Nursing
David Code Fine Arts School of Music
Alan Rea HCOB Business Information Systems
Marcellis Zondag HCOB Marketing
Amy Bocko Libraries University Libraries
Michael Duffy Libraries University Libraries



Process Coordinators

Process Coordinators serve as a liaison between academic colleges, departments/schools and the WMUx course development and administrative teams.

Please reach out to your assigned process coordinator with any questions you may have.


NameCoordination Area(s)Email
Amy Routhier CAS, CHHS, Aviation
Carol Bale CEHD, CFA
Marshall Cammack CEAS, HCOB
Chuck Pearson CAS, CHHS
Linda Walker CAS, CHHS
Toni Woolfork-Barnes OLLI



Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which classes are impacted by the decision to shift to distance learning for the Summer I session?

    The decision has been made to move ALL classes to a distance education format for Summer I. Classes previously scheduled for traditional face-to-face and hybrid formats at all WMU campus locations will be transitioned to online learning.

  • As a faculty member or department chair/director, what do I need to do to make these changes in Banner?

    Nothing. The Registrar’s Office is working with OIT and WMUx to make a one-time transition of all Summer I courses to online formats. Students will also be notified of these changes in separate messaging.

  • What is the Online Course Development Process?
    1. Instructor/Developer schedules appointment with WMUx Instructional Design team.
    2. Instructor/Developer meets with WMUx Instructional Design team to receive training and begin the storyboard process
    3. Instructor/Developer continues to work with WMUx Instructional Designers on the storyboard.
    4. Storyboard is complete, all course lessons, exercises, activities, discussions and assessments are identified.
    5. Storyboard completion verified.
    6. First Stipend installment processed and paid to instructor(s)/developer(s).
    7. Instructor(s)/Developer(s) continues to work with WMUx Instructional Design team to design, create and implement learning objects.
    8. Course development complete, all content is present and complies with WMU Elearning standards, accessibility and technical requirements
    9. Course development completion verified.
    10. Second installment processed and paid to instructor(s)/developer(s).
  • What tuition rates and fees will students pay?

    The move to online courses will result in a reduction of tuition and fees for most students.

    The online course rate is equal to lower-level main campus in-state resident rates for undergraduates and in-state resident tuition for graduate students.

  • Will I still be paid the normal stipend to teach my Summer I course?

    Instructors will be compensated as they normally would for all Summer I teaching assignments.

    Summer I teaching assignments and course development stipends, as outlined in the WMU-AAUP, PIO and TAU agreements, remain in effect during this shift. WMUx is accelerating its course development process to ensure that those who want to follow the process for a developing a fully online course are able to do so.

  • How does this affect the summer budget model for Academic Affairs?

    WMU's traditional summer budget model will not be operative for 2020. Deans and department chairs will ensure minimum course enrollments wherever possible, and may still need to cancel sections with low enrollment. The guiding principle for those decisions will be student success as WMU seeks to offer all courses that are necessary for students to continue making progress toward their degrees.

  • What is the Joint Instructional Advisory Committee?

    The Joint Instructional Advisory Committee is a group formed to help guide this process while ensuring mutual accountability and transparency. Faculty champions representing the various colleges will be members of the committee, as will representatives from the leadership of the WMU-AAUP, PIO , TAU, and the WMU Faculty Senate E-Board. Dr. Ed Martini, Associate Provost for WMUx, will chair the committee. As the membership of the group is confirmed, names of committee members and regular updates will be provided to the University community.

  • What is the expected time frame for re-opening WMU's main campus and regional locations to instruction and other events and opportunities?

    The decision to reopen facilities at all WMU campuses and locations will be based on considerations of public health and safety, as well as ongoing guidance from state and federal authorities. University leaders continue to monitor the situation very closely and will continue to keep the campus community updated as information becomes available.

  • What’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

    Synchronous class sessions require students to be logged in at a specific time, much like a traditionally scheduled class. Many online courses provide content and activities that can be completed asynchronously -- at other times that might be more convenient for students and instructors alike. Many also combine those two approaches, allowing for asynchronous delivery of more traditional lecture content while scheduling synchronous times for group discussions or exams.

  • I've heard that WMUx is advocating for instructors to shift to asynchronous classes, is that true?

    No, WMUx is not advocating for any particular approach. We are discussing options with all instructors to find solutions that will best suit the needs of their course content and pedagogy, their students, and themselves. Instructors should be aware that synchronous sessions make it very difficult to ensure accessibility for all students (including captioning on live streaming video, for instance).

    We are also reinforcing in those conversations that requiring an entire class to be delivered synchronously places significant demands on students who might be working, caring for others, or have limited access to the internet. For those students, more asynchronous sessions may allow the student to be more successful in the course.

  • The days and times for my classes no longer appear on the course lookup page. What happened?

    We shifted all summer I courses to distance learning as a one-time batch change in banner, so that departments did not have to delete and re-add all those courses. In making that change, banner assumed all the courses were fully online, asynchronous courses. As WMUx works with instructors to determine the best options for their courses, we can also add information back in regarding required synchronous sessions.

  • I've been using the Virtual Classroom function, but heard it's going away this summer. What should I do?

    Virtual Classroom was scheduled to be phased out of Brightspace (D2L) this spring. We worked with Brightspace to extend the agreement through the end of the semester, but it will not be available for summer. Other tools, such as WebEx, Teams, and others, are more than capable of supporting the same types of activities that were being used in Virtual Classroom. 

    For those who have used Virtual Classroom in the past, previously recorded videos will become unavailable on May 1. We strongly suggest that you download those videos if you plan on using them in the future.

    Please contact for support on downloading previously recorded videos and to explore options with the instructional support team.

  • The online course development agreement asks me to specify limited rights usage. Does this mean I am giving up my intellectual property rights?

    No. All faculty developing online courses own the intellectual property of the materials they create. Limited rights usage refers to the permissions the developing instructor(s) are giving to the academic department/school to allow other qualified instructors to use their materials in another future or current section of the course.

  • What are the WMU Faculty Senate Elearning Standards?

    To read the WMU Faculty Senate Elearning Standards, please visit the link below.