November 2020 Newsletter
Take Action to Prepare for Spring Semester
“This is a moment in time that demands unprecedented innovation and inspiration.”
~Nonie Lesaux, Harvard Graduate School of Education Academic Dean
Throughout this year, we have taken a journey of ACTION together.
We have learned to adapt either by changing our delivery methods or in the Teaching in the Digital Classroom Series. The many resources and learning opportunities have helped us better prepare ourselves to teach not just this semester and year, but in all future semesters. Weber State is changing and adapting with the times.
WSU faculty have taken advantage of many unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations through Communities of Practice such as the Experiential Learning Grants COP, Tuesday Teaching Tips, and Collaboration Station. Faculty at Weber State are “great, great, great” at learning from each other.
We’ve learned to teach and redesign for virtual and online classes that may be ongoing for the next couple of semesters. We’ve learned the nuts and bolts of online instruction, learned best practices for designing in an online environment, and built community in new ways with our students.
Innovation does not always have to involve technology, although in our current circumstances, it very well could. Sometimes it can be as simple, but also as complex, as finding new ways to engage your students. Weber State faculty have been innovating and perfecting some of these innovations and sharing them with their colleagues in Tuesday Teaching Tips and Experiential Learning Innovations.
We have observed our students and made adjustments and observed our colleagues and learned from them.
We have nurtured our students and even learned to nurture ourselves in a work/life balance that has at times been difficult to juggle. In short, we have let these challenging times make us stronger together and are ready to take action again in the spring.
TLF Announcements and Tools
"What the hell just happened?" As a member of the WSU community, you are likely posing that very question to yourself and others as you think about the events of the last 8 months. A move to virtual teaching. Zoom meaning more than just going fast in a car or the kid's show on PBS. And screen sharing is not watching a movie together! Seriously, what the hell just happened? No doubt, you have experienced many challenges moving your courses and services to virtual formats. So, what have we learned amidst all this chaos and confusion? Do you have some ideas to share with your colleagues?
Would you like to hear what others have done to enhance their own virtual offerings? We'll be sharing ideas in separate breakout rooms, each focused on one of the topics below:
- What the hell just happened with my video?
- What the hell just happened in my web conference?
- How the hell do we help students stay engaged?
- What the hell did the students say?
Each breakout room will have a facilitator and an instructional designer to oversee and facilitate your conversations. All of the ideas generated during the event will be posted on the Teaching and Learning Forum website. Join us on Friday the 13th (your lucky day) from 12:30 - 1:30 to discuss what the hell just happened. Sign up here.
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.
AVID Resources for Higher Education
The AVID website provides faculty and staff access to AVID for Higher Education professional learning modules, which focus on high engagement instructional strategies. The modules are designed to assist faculty in engaging students in the learning process within AVID’s WICOR framework. There is additional support for advising, Socratic peer tutoring, and peer mentoring to provide students with comprehensive wrap-around support. Below you will see the login information for the AHE resources:
- Website: My.avid.org
- Log-in: email@example.com
- Password: Success2019
The Facilitating Experiential Learning Online Community of Practice is publishing weekly micro reports from the members who participated this summer as part of the Online Learning grant they were awarded. Several projects have been featured on the website thus far. You can find the link to their brief and instructive videos here, with more to come each week during the fall semester.
- Watch for upcoming information on the Grand Opening of the new Digital District next semester.
- There will be a call for submissions in January for the 2021 Faculty Symposium in March 2021.
- There will be a virtual Teaching for Learning Conference Thursday, February 24. Watch for a call for proposals to be emailed.
Contact Colleen Packer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Where can I find articles about what we’ve learned so far from the pandemic and preparing for the spring semester?
- What Higher Ed Has Learned From Covid-19 So Far
- 7 Ways to Assess Students Online and Minimize Cheating
- Higher Ed Needs a Long-Term Plan for Virtual Learning
- How the Coronavirus Will Change Faculty Life Forever
- Teaching to Connect: Community-Building Strategies for the Virtual Classroom
- Don’t Weed Out Students. Help Them Flourish.
What resources and ideas does Weber State University offer for redesigning my courses for virtual and online delivery?
- 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.
WSU Online Canvas Corner
Are you an early adopter? Canvas has a new simple, yet powerful, content editor that is used for creating and editing content. This new version of the Rich Content Editor (RCE) will be turned on by Instructure for everyone on January 16, 2021, but if you're interested in trying it out now, you can activate it in your sandbox course (or any course) by going to the Feature Options in your course Settings. Check out this video and these Canvas Guides for more information. WSU Online will provide more details about this change as well as opportunities for live training in the coming weeks.