Novel Coronavirus Update 

April 13, 2020

Dear Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshop Registrants —

We write with several important updates regarding this summer’s workshop. 

First, this afternoon Harvard announced that all of its summer programming, including our workshop, must be conducted online. While we are disappointed that we will not be able to welcome you to Cambridge in person, we have been diligently preparing for this possibility and are ready to implement our fully online curriculum. 

We want to assure you that we plan to offer the same quality of instruction as before at a much more affordable price. Instruction will be delivered using the same platforms that Harvard uses for its online courses. We will use a combination of Canvas, Harvard’s learning management software, and Zoom, a videoconferencing platform that is fully integrated with Canvas. Students will have access to the course webpage once they receive their Harvard University ID numbers and set up their Harvard Keys. Each program will offer a mix of synchronous and asynchronous programming, including recorded lectures, live discussions, and mechanisms for students to submit recorded speeches and receive feedback as well as participate in live competitions. 

Second, now that the online and physical workshops will not run concurrently, we are exploring alternative schedules for a single session. First, we are considering consolidating some of the programs into one session. Second, we are considering reducing the hours scheduled each day and holding one session for three weeks. We kindly ask that you please fill out this quick 15-second survey (it’s only 4 questions) about online options. We would greatly appreciate having your feedback at this time: Online Survey Link.

Third, if you signed up for the physical workshop and would like to participate in the online version, please login to your account and change your registration from in-person/commuter to digital. If you have trouble, please contact us at one of the methods below.

Fourth, we are modifying the payment schedule as follows. The tuition for the online program is $999, including the application fee and the deposit. The $500 deposit is now due by May 15, and the remaining balance on all accounts is due by June 15.

We look forward to working with you this summer, albeit under new circumstances. We recognize that this is not what you hoped for or envisioned for your summer; we had hoped to host you on the campus as well. But we are committed to making this as valuable and fun as possible, and welcome your feedback, suggestions, etc.

Please let us know if you have any questions by replying to this email or by writing to [email protected].


Sherry Hall and Tripp Rebrovick

Harvard Debate Council