--Updated Jan 6.--
With the odd start date in the middle of week 1, many instructors and students have had troubles with due dates. We encourage all instructors to exercise leniency with the lesson 1 due dates. Instructors may issue Special Access to students for many of the lesson 1 assignments, or edit the due or end date for the entire class (exercise caution with this second option). Please do not submit a ticket to have the course due dates "Fixed."
--Original post on Dec. 2, 2016--
Students can begin accessing their Winter 2017 online courses on December 31. We encourage you to reach out to students as soon as possible and encourage them to begin working on their course. Winter semester will be unusual in that the official semester start date will not be until Thursday, January 5. Since Lesson 1 concludes on January 7, students are encouraged to start in advance of the official start date. They cannot be required to submit assignments before January 5.Most course designs are intentionally flexible in Lesson 1 to accommodate this type of variation. However, a few courses may have due dates listed prior to January 5. Online instructors should exercise leniency in due dates the first week of the semester. Instructors may issue Special Access to students who begin lesson 1 assignments later in the week. Some students may start the class later in the week, and others may be adding the class until the add/drop deadline.
Winter 2017 is even more unique because Monday January 2nd is also a University holiday. We expect some students may reach out to you on Monday, so also communicate your Monday availability in your pre-semester welcome e-mail.
To assist students at the start of the semester, the Online Support Center (OSC) and other key services will be available, including January 2nd.