Virtual Learning at the Elliott School

GW's Fall 2020 Update

COVID response information


The George Washington University has decided to hold courses online for the Fall semester, with limited exceptions.


Read the full Fall 2020 update



Updates & Announcements


Virtual Forums



Below you will find information relating to the Elliott School and COVID-19. On July 27, 2020, President LeBlanc announced that the George Washington University has decided to hold courses online for the Fall semester. Read the most recent messages from Interim Dean Ilana Feldman for more information.

Contact Information for Additional Questions

The university recently launched a COVID-19 hotline – 855-GWU-INFO – which is open and ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the university’s preparedness for COVID-19. You can also visit GW's Fall 2020 website for all updates related to COVID-19.

For Elliott School-specific questions, please email [email protected] and visit this page. This webpage will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

This page was last updated August 4, 2020.

For Students

Frequently Asked Questions

During spring we needed to react quickly and transition courses from on campus to online within a matter of days. For fall, the Elliott School, in conjunction with GW Library’s Instructional Core team, developed a series of workshops and instructional resources to help all faculty develop their courses for hybrid and online settings. In addition, Elliott launched the Flex-Start program, where selected courses from each program went through a full online course design process in which faculty members and instructional designers worked closely together to tailor a highly engaging online course. All faculty further received a newly developed teaching guide with many helpful tips and resources, received access to an online course on how to develop and facilitate online courses, and had the opportunity to attend several workshops and trainings.

Faculty have been guided to record their lectures, so if you are experiencing connectivity issues, you can view them at another time. In addition, both Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and WebEx have both call-in and mobile features, where you can gain access to your live-sync session through your mobile device. Faculty have also been guided to be as flexible as possible during these unprecedented times.

Please start by contacting your academic advisor to discuss any changes to your academic plan and impacts to the completion of your degree. Students should then check with the Office of Graduate Admissions regarding Elliott School funding and the Office of Student Financial Assistance regarding federal financial aid. International students should contact the International Services Office for potential visa implications as well.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has created a comprehensive Toolkit and mental health Self-Help resources for specific populations related to COVID- 19. CAPS is available to provide support to students. Call 202-994-5300 and press 2 to speak to a CAPS clinician during regular business hours (Mon-Fri. 8:30am-5p). Crisis support is available 24/7.

Graduate Student Services will continue to provide academic advising and career coaching support through virtual appointments, drop-in hours, workshops, and events. Academic Commons offers several short videos addressing different virtual learning strategies for the unique circumstances of the fall 2020 semester. They also offer a variety of live virtual workshops to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in a virtual environment. Writing and research consultations will also be available online.

The university will continue to closely monitor the latest data on COVID-19 cases locally and nationally, guidance from our medical and public health experts, and ongoing feedback from the GW community in making a determination on plans for the spring semester.

Graduate tuition rates have been rolled back to the 2019-20 academic year. For more information, visit the Student Accounts website.

The schedule of classes is currently being updated to reflect remote instruction for all IAFF courses. Any rare exception will be noted in the course comments. In the coming weeks, your instructors will provide additional details regarding class meetings.

Most graduate courses are being held online this fall. Please monitor the schedule of classes and/or your fall schedule in GWeb for updates to your courses. If you have questions, please contact your instructor or academic advisor for further assistance.

Both the reading and speaking exams will be conducted virtually in the fall, as they were in the spring term. Registration information will be communicated from Graduate Student Services (GSS) in September. Contact GSS with any questions at [email protected].

For a list of frequently asked questions that address the university as a whole, visit GW's Fall 2020 FAQs page.

For Faculty

Resources and support to help move classes online are available through GW’s library; but also, directly, at the Elliott School. Below you will find more information on assistance from the Elliott School's Academic Programs and Online and Instructional Design Teams, plus additional resource guides from Blackboard and the library.

Please feel free to reach out to the Elliott School's Online and Instructional Design Team with any questions or help at [email protected]

Campus Advisories provides additional online resources for the virtual learning period

The University Instructional Core, in the library, also has been conducting workshops for faculty on how to use blackboard for educating our students online. The team is ready to ramp up workshops over the next few weeks to assist faculty in maintaining instructional continuity should the campus suspend (or scale back) face-to-face instruction for any period of time. Faculty and chairs should contact [email protected] for assistance.

Several topic-specific guides have been produced by Blackboard and by the library. 

To find topic-specific guides, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your GW username and password (Your username is the phrase in your email address appearing before "")
  3. On the top left side of your homepage, you should see a tab for Blackboard Guides. Click there.
  4. Depending on the issue you need help with, Blackboard has a corresponding guide and/or video.

***If you still need help or wish to set up a time for a guided explanation, please send an email to [email protected]

To help guide your syllabus development, download the Elliott School syllabus template.

Additionally, the University Teaching and Learning Center provides online resources for designing your syllabus.


For Connectivity and Functionality Issues

Contact GW IT:

GW IT provides instructor and student support for access issues related to Blackboard (NetID), Banner (student enrollment, faculty assignments) and email.


For Instructional Technologies Issues

Contact the Instructional Technology Lab (ITL):

ITL provides instructor support on the use of Blackboard, VoiceThread, Echo360, and other instructional technologies. 

Updates & Announcements from the Elliott School