As we transition from the urgency of having moved our classes to new teaching modalities mid-semester, we also recognize that the lessons of the spring semester have much to offer us in the ongoing, and no less urgent, effort to prepare for a fall semester that may include many different scenarios for our teaching. The CAE is preparing a variety of opportunities for faculty to work together to create courses and learning experiences that are adaptable to several different possible scenarios. We are offering three programs to assist with your ongoing planning:
Workshops on Preparing Adaptable and Accessible Classes for Fall 2020: Building on the initial workshops we did in March which live as a resource on our continuity page, we will provide Zoom workshops that will assist faculty in creating adaptable and accessible course materials for fall classes that can be offered in online, hybrid, and face-to-face modalities. This material will be offered in workshop format, with support materials provided to help you with an initiation into what will become a deep dive into your existing content, learning activities, assessments, and pedagogy. Our aim will be to provide a practical and pedagogically sound framework from which you can work individually with us or faculty with online teaching experience and training to first visualize and then adapt your course to several teaching and learning modalities.
Targeted Virtual Working Groups: In order to gather some of the hive-mind wisdom of the many faculty whose improvisations this spring yielded valuable lessons or identified immediate challenges, we will be facilitating a series of virtual working groups on topics specific to teaching in an online, hybrid or alternative teaching scenario. The goal is to share our collective learnings from this spring and to brainstorm strategies to address specific teaching issues we may confront in the fall (e.g., online assessment, accessibility/universal design, virtual clinical experiences, online labs). In effort to gauge interest and specific areas of pedagogical need, please fill out this survey to help us with what specific offerings will be of most use to you: https://www.123formbuilder.com/form-5433776/2020024-fall-2020-course-planning-survey.
Ongoing individual, departmental, or program-wide consults: We know that the work of course design and adaptation is both ongoing and differentiated. No matter how many materials we offer to begin to prepare you, much of your work will be detailed, on-the-ground conceptualizing and problem-solving. Through our help-desk approach in March and April, we learned much about the value of the individual consult and follow-up structure; we will continue to approach our work with that support model in mind, and encoura`age you to reach out to us—whether it’s to brainstorm a new approach to a part of a single assignment, or to help an entire cohort of faculty think through a particularly challenging aspect of the online experience, or to think through the conceptual challenges of this kind of planning. We will remain responsive to you throughout this process. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to design specific offerings for your program or department.
In short, watch your inbox for these opportunities from CAE designed to engage with each other as we each take on our individual and collective planning challenges. We invite you to join with us in learning—and sharing—the lessons of the spring to plan toward the effective and innovative teaching and learning experiences that characterize a Fairfield education, wherever it occurs. We are so grateful to find ourselves in a community of practice that includes such richly engaged teachers and (as we all found out in earnest this spring) active learners!
Carol Ann Davis
Directors, Center for Academic Excellence
Manager of Academic Computing, ITS