Spring Quarter Snapshot: Faculty Share Remote Instruction Strategies

Screenshot of video conference call.
Debbie Fetter shared her remote instruction tips during a recent FacultyConnect session.

FacultyConnect is helping faculty all across UC Davis continue their quest to create an engaging virtual experience for students while promoting high-quality instruction. This weekly meeting series, hosted by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, or CEE, provides an opportunity to discuss strategies and share lessons learned.

“Our goal is to provide a community space where faculty can come together and share their experiences with remote teaching in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” said Patricia Turner, who helps facilitate the discussions for CEE. “We’ve had a great turnout so far, and the feedback we’ve received has been very positive.”

Debbie Fetter recently shared her time-saving tips during a FacultyConnect session.

For the past two years, she has taught an online nutrition course (Nutrition 10V) that typically draws 700 to 900 students each quarter. She recommends the following strategies:

  • Communicate often. Sending weekly announcements is a good way to communicate and connect with students. Incorporate “tips for success” and consider using emoji to show expression.
  • Be accessible. Designate a set time for “online office hours.” If necessary, transform office hours into a study hall to discuss complex questions.
  • Develop a plan to assess learning.
  • Don’t forget to establish an “off” time. In an online environment, it can be tempting to be available 24/7, but it’s not sustainable.

“This is a challenging time for students and faculty alike and I hope sharing what I've learned can help others,” Fetter said. “It's been great to see our diverse teaching community come together virtually to share resources and support each other during this transition to remote education.”

A list of upcoming FacultyConnect events, recorded sessions and additional resources are available on the Keep Teaching website.

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