WINDSOR, ONT. -- The University of Windsor announced Thursday it will continue offering a majority of its classes through online delivery for the winter semester.

Face-to-face classes or labs will be offered where in-person interaction is important for meeting program learning outcomes, an update from University president and vice chancellor Robert Gordon said. The winter 2021 semester will essentially be a continuation of the fall approach with the possibility additional face-to-face activities will be added as COVID-19 conditions allow.

“Given current health and safety considerations, physical classroom space is a critical factor. We have fewer than 15 classrooms that, under current health authority guidelines, can house more than 30 people,” Gordon said. “Current provincial health guidelines, which are subject to change, also prohibit classes of more than 50 students. Heightened sanitation and social distancing guidelines require transit time between classes, which further limits the number of courses that can be offered.”

Gordon also applauded the UWindsor community for their efforts in preparing for the “challenging and unpredictable” academic year. Staff and students worked throughout the summer to find new ways to connect and create high-quality learning experiences, he said.

The update says all of the deans at the university worked together to determine which courses will be offered in person based on the following priorities:

  • Courses where face-to-face interaction is required for graduation or accreditation;
  • Opportunities for first-year students to have on-campus experiences;
  • Face-to-face experiences for identified international student cohorts;
  • Laboratory sections;
  • Research courses that require access to laboratories for data collection and analysis;
  • Studio courses that require access to specific equipment and spaces;
  • Required practicums, internships, and work experience that primarily take place off campus;
  • Co-curricular programming that enables experiential opportunities for students
  • Faculty-specific priorities.

A detailed list of Winter 2021 face-to-face classes will be released once plans are finalized.

“I have every confidence that we will face the challenges of the coming months successfully,” Gordon said. “I encourage you to continue to be kind and patient, with others and yourselves, as we address the many unknowns that are sure to arise. Please reach out as necessary to your peers and the campus community for assistance, encouragement, and conversation. No matter what the challenges, we are UWindsorTogether, and together we go on.”