January 2021 Newsletter
Teaching in a Changed World
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
In the midst of the pandemic and during this current surge of Covid-19 cases, colleges and universities across the country are still adapting methods of teaching in the safest and most effective methods. Distance learning has existed for decades. But because of the Covid-19 crisis, all schools were forced into a kind of distance learning. The challenge has been to try to keep this as a sustainable method of instruction, as we aren’t sure how long we will be in this situation.
There is an increased need for educational institutions to strengthen the online and virtual practices in the curriculum and the use of innovative teaching techniques and approaches. There is also the question of equity and ensuring that all students have access to the technology needed for remote studies. All of the facets, obstacles, and opportunities of teaching in this changed world will require innovation, adaptability, collaboration, and dedication to navigate.
TLF Announcements and Resources
It’s time to sign up for book groups again. Check out the spring semester book list. Sign-up begins this week. Visit our website for changes to book group policy during Covid-19. The deadline to sign-up is January 15.
Take Action and be a part of the Faculty Symposium on Tuesday, March 23 from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. We invite all faculty to participate in this event. Share your ideas about teaching and learning. Discuss current issues in education. Disseminate your research – in progress or completed. Collaborate with your colleagues and organize a panel discussion. We have a number of different formats in which you can participate. Submissions are open until Friday, February 5 at 5:00 p.m. Presentations can be synchronous or asynchronous.
Additionally, we are thrilled to offer the opportunity for faculty to use the new technology in the Digital District space in Lampros Hall for their presentations. These presentations can be recorded prior to the event or done synchronously through virtual means such as Zoom. So, if you are interested, you may want to do your presentation in one of the following areas. You’ll be able to indicate a preference on the proposal form. (Contact the Teaching and Learning Forum if you have questions about any of these.
- Active Learning Classroom
- Innovation Studio
- Collaboration Room (zoom studio)
- Collaboration/Media Viewing Room
- Creative Corridor
- DIY Recording Studio
- Podcast Studio
We are excited to share with you a new program called the Adjunct Faculty Academy (AFA). The AFA is a series of online sessions that you can watch and learn from at your own pace. The goal of this program is to provide adjunct faculty with the essentials you will need to be successful as you teach your courses. Whether you are new to Weber State or just wanting to revamp your courses, there is something here for everyone. You may participate in all of the sessions below or choose the ones that best suit your needs.
The modules will be offered in the new Bridge program. You can access the program through this link or by logging into the Online Employee Development App through your eWeber Portal. There will be sessions offered from three categories: Employment, Teaching, and Instructional Design. The modules will guide you through the entire semester from pre-semester planning all the way through inputting final grades, and everything in between. We have also created a checklist (attached below) for new adjunct faculty to walk you through everything you will need to do to get started in your first semester at Weber State.
There will be a $300 stipend offered for the first 100 adjunct faculty members who complete the entire program by March 1, 2021. To be eligible for the stipend, you must participate in either the Adjunct Faculty Academy Kick-Off either synchronously on January 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. or the Adjunct Faculty Retreat on February 5, 2021.
Please follow this link for more information and to register for the AFA Kick-Off and/or Adjunct Faculty Retreat. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rachel Cox in the Teaching and Learning Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please join the Teaching and Learning Forum and the Library for a virtual conversation about open educational resources and identifying affordable course materials for your students. The workshop will be presented via Zoom on January 27 and January 28 from 2-4 p.m. by Michael Whitchurch, Media Literacy Librarian at Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library.
Please follow this link to sign up. We look forward to seeing you there.
Overcoming Distance, Disruption, and Distraction Thursday, February 25, 2021, 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
The 5th annual Teaching for Learning (T4L) Conference is co-hosted by Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Brigham Young University. This year's conference outlines the many factors that are distracting our students and offers both practical and theoretical approaches to overcoming those obstacles. During this one-day conference, participants will have the opportunity to make connections with other instructors, take home great ideas for teaching, and stay current on research in teaching and learning.
Enter "WSU2021" to receive a discount!
Please join the Teaching and Learning Forum for Tuesday Teaching Tips at Two once a month this spring semester. These virtual events will showcase some of the best practices for teaching in virtual and online formats presented by faculty members from all colleges. Presentations will be in the format of GIFTS sessions (Great Ideas for Teaching Students) with Q&A opportunities at the end of each showcase. You can register on our website at this link. You will receive a calendar invitation and Zoom links for all sessions you wish to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tuesday Teaching Tips Spring 2021
|January 26||Alex Lawrence||Increasing Online Communication Quality and
Effectiveness with New Technology
|February 23||Aspen Florence||Building Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into Online
|March 30||Drew Weidman||Using Yuja to Create Simple Concept Videos for
|April 20||Paul Neiman||Teaching with Word Clouds and Creating
Community in Online Classes
Where can I find articles about how teaching and learning have changed in the last year?
- COVID-19 Remote Learning Transition in Spring 2020: Class Structures, Student Perceptions, and Inequality in College Courses
- What Higher Ed Has Learned From Covid-19 So Far
- The end of college teaching as we know it (if all goes well)
- Higher Ed Needs a Long-Term Plan for Virtual Learning
- The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue
- Don’t Weed Out Students. Help Them Flourish.
What resources and ideas does Weber State University offer for teaching online and virtually?
- Redesign for Virtual-Online
- Teaching in a Digital Classroom Series
- Experiential Learning Online Innovations
- Chat with a designer M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.