The coronavirus pandemic has forced many faculty to redesign their courses in order to transition to remote teaching. It can be difficult to implement such a drastic change halfway through the semester, especially for those who have always preferred face-to-face instruction. With remote teaching continuing through the summer term, the instructional designers at the Center for Teaching Excellence are prepared to help faculty every step of the way.
CTE’s Instructional Design team assists faculty in planning their courses, utilizing the best technology, and finding ways to engage with students. With the abrupt switch to remote teaching, it’s not surprising that there would be an influx of faculty seeking guidance. Instructional designer Casey Carroll thinks back to his initial reaction when it was announced classes would no longer be held in person.
“This is exactly what we’re here for. This is what we always try to help instructors with, so I knew for this specific situation there’s going to be a lot of instructors who are concerned and overwhelmed and feeling like they didn’t really know what to do next. I knew that we would be able to help them feel more comfortable with all of the resources and services that we have.” Carroll says.
With only a week to prepare for the big transition, the instructional designers held many consultations, webinars and virtual drop-in sessions to help the process run as smoothly as possible. “In this situation, what we’re really trying to help people do is the easiest thing that’s going to help their students get the maximum value out of their learning,” Carroll says. Many entered a new terrain to explore tools and technology that would best benefit their students.
While it’s best to be able to plan ahead for online instruction, these circumstances made that difficult. “In online teaching we’re used to at least a three-step process of design, development and delivery. So with remote teaching, we had to refocus to condense the steps and get as many best practices in as possible,” says instructional designer Gloria Washington.
CTE continues to adapt to changes in order to best help faculty. The online short course “Getting Started Teaching Online” (GSTO) was originally an eight-week course that allowed instructors to experience online course development from a student perspective. Now, GSTO will be offered in a four-week format during the summer to help those who may need to quickly move a course online.
“They collaborate with each other and they collaborate with the instructor through student to student and instructor to student interaction. They engage with the course content and they complete assignments just as if they were students,” Washington says.
Fill out and submit the Instructional Design Consulation Request Form to schedule a consultation with a CTE Instructional Designer.