May 2020 Newsletter

May 1, 2020

Teaching and Viruses and Transitions...Oh, my!

“You have plenty of courage, I am  sure...All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is  not afraid when it faces danger. The true  courage is in facing danger when you are  afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” ~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The entire world is facing new dangers and  frightening situations we have never  encountered before. We are in the very process  of learning what true courage is. We have seen  heroes disguised as everyday people step forward to serve and protect. We have dug deep and found courage in ourselves, trying new things  and adapting to new situations. Every person’s experience with the Covid-19 epidemic is different, and  yet we are all finding remarkable similarities with our neighbors, colleagues, and people around the  world. The world is taking a deep breath of courage and stepping tentatively onto the “yellow brick  road” towards an unknown destination. Have you ever noticed that the best and most resilient heroes in stories, myths, and movies are those  who can adapt easily to whatever is thrown at them? That is the key, not only to survival, but to  triumph. Weber State University has stepped up and adapted services to our students and our faculty  and staff during this time of uncertainty.

One of those adaptations has been the creation and planning of a New Faculty Onboarding  Program. We have used the unique opportunity of living in quarantine to rethink our previous faculty  orientations. Beginning in June, Weber State University Teaching and Learning Forum  will be offering  a nine month faculty onboarding program. This will begin with virtual and online trainings co-sponsored by WSU Online. These trainings will lay the foundation for new faculty members to  begin teaching in the fall semester with confidence. Some of the online trainings focused on  redesigning courses for virtual, online, and hybrid teaching will also be made available for current  faculty members to participate in. They will also set the stage for further trainings and fellowship with  colleagues at the New Faculty Retreat to be held in October. Covering a diverse array of topics from  how to be an employee of Weber State to pedagogical practices, the trainings and monthly meetings  will continue through the spring semester. By the end of a faculty member’s first two semesters at  Weber State, they will be ready to take on any challenge with confidence.  The important thing we must remember as we adapt to these rapid changes, is that we can only do  our best. As Glennon Doyle says, “Despair says, ‘I am too sad and too small, and the world is too big. I  cannot do it all, so I will do nothing.’ But Courage says, ‘I will not let the fact that I cannot do  everything keep me from doing what I can.’” By constantly learning, adapting, and connecting with  colleagues, we will face our unique challenges together and be even stronger Wildcats than ever!

TLF Announcements

  • Experience the Teaching Professor Conference virtually through September 30! Register here.
  • Revised New Faculty Retreat Dates: October 15-17 at Zermatt Resort.
  • New Faculty Onboarding Program beginning in June.
  • Experiential Online Learning Grant Proposals, Deadline May 28, 2020. Click here to find more information.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are some tools for virtual environments?

  • To conduct synchronous meetings and virtual conferences:
  • Staff and Faculty Training Paths
    • LinkedIn Learning App through the Weber Portal
  • Department Files and Documents and Online Presentations ?    
  • Showcase student, faculty, staff accomplishments on the web
    • Adobe Products (Spark,Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro)
    • Contact: IT Training
  • To learn more about the above products you may contact:
    • IT Training 801-626-8974
    • Academic Web Development 801-626-7704
    • IT Support Desk 801-626-7777
    • WSU Online 801-626-6499

Where can I find online resources for my classes?

How can I sharpen my skills during this time?

  • Log into your eWeber portal and search for the LinkedIn Learning app.
  • Click on the section "From Your Org" on the upper right hand side of your dashboard.
  • Select WSU Employee Learning Week 2020 for curated courses.
  • Or search topics to find classes to suit your professional development needs.

How can I make my synchronous virtual classes more engaging?

  • You're teaching virtually now. Here are some ideas to make your synchronous online efforts engaging and enjoyable for you and your students!

Where can I find more information and tips for transitioning to virtual instruction?

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About The Author

Rachel Cox

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