As students start summer studies this week, instructors are continuing their own learning and other efforts to adapt summer and fall courses for the remote environment.
“The faculty and graduate students are learning too,” said Kem Saichaie, associate director for learning and teaching support at the Center for Educational Effectiveness, or CEE. “It’s a model of lifelong learning.”
Catherine Hatzakos, a lecturer in the University Writing Program, or UWP, said she got a head start on adapting her Summer Sessions courses for remote instruction through resources and programs that continue to be available through CEE and the Keep Teaching website.
To help the writing program with a long-term goal to adapt two courses to a hybrid model of in-person and online instruction, Hatzakos participated in the ACCELERATE Fellows Program in December.
Offered through CEE, the program provides workshops, guidance and a $500 budget to help instructors create inclusive and equitable learning environments as they transition face-to-face courses to online courses. Up to 50 instructors will participate in five, four-day sessions through mid-September.
Hatzakos also attended FacultyConnect, a weekly series where faculty members discuss strategies for online and remote instruction and lessons learned. She shared what she learned with those in UWP’s ongoing teaching circles for instructors. The FacultyConnect recordings from spring sessions — on topics from fostering creativity in the classroom to supporting struggling students — are available online.
Hatzakos said what she learned has influenced how she will teach courses on advanced composition and business writing this summer. For example, the composition course will be asynchronous so students can choose when to fit the work into their own schedule. But to stay connected with her students, Hatzakos is requiring two one-on-one Zoom meetings.
Meanwhile, she is serving on one of the two task forces that are working to revamp the popular UWP 101 advanced composition and UWP 007 reading and writing courses to the hybrid model.
In other summer programming, Academic and Technology Services, or ATS, continues to offer live webinars about remote instruction. For example, this week’s sessions are on using Zoom, the Aggie Video streaming platform and alternatives to whiteboards. The Keep Teaching website also provides access to recordings of other webinars.
Coming soon are changes to the Keep Teaching website that CEE and ATS created this spring to offer strategies and resources for moving courses online. Next week, the site’s teaching page will relaunch with better integration of strategies and tools for remote instruction. Saichaie said the enhancements will include expanded guides and examples.