Recently, I received the dubiously perfect birthday gift—someone who knows me too well presented me with a desk plaque which reads simply: “Let Me Overthink That.” I’m a worrier, I’m an over-analyzer, and I’m the guy who—just before the meeting is over—prolongs the meeting by another 15 minutes anticipating all of the other things that might go wrong—and how we can strategize to keep those things from happening. Generally, things go pretty smoothly despite my bias toward preparing for the worst. To the best of our ability, we are committed to continually supporting and encouraging you in this challenging work toward preparation for the Fall 2020 term. As it happens, I can vouch for your campus faculty support partners who share the similar characteristic I mention above—we make it our job to overthink things to improve support and experiences for our faculty and students. Please remember that we’re here to help—if you have any instructional planning or preparation questions or challenges—don’t overthink or worry about it too long—let us partner with you to find answers to your questions and concerns. Continue reading Farewell to July: Ready for August!
Thank you for all of your work over the past few months, your instructional creativity, flexibility, and service toward meeting the needs of all students during these extraordinary times continues to differentiate the SMU experience.
We know that many of you have questions about teaching in Summer 2 and in the Fall. We apologize for the length of this message, but we want to provide you as much detail as possible. While we do not have answers to all of your questions, our hope is this message provides additional clarity about the upcoming terms. Please read the entire message and reach out with any additional questions that you may have regarding instructional preparation.
As you know, the planning for a phased re-opening of SMU’s classrooms for face-to-face, in-person instruction is well underway. Every Summer 2 and Fall 2020 course will need to support SMU’s long-standing expectation for high-quality instruction with students who may be in person or remote (you might have heard this called “HyFlex” instruction; Please see EDUCAUSE’s 7 Things You Should Know About the HyFlex Course Model for a good definition of this mode). In practical terms, HyFlex classes require the continuance of remote instruction while at the same time delivering in-person instruction—connecting the two using technology systems like Zoom and Canvas. In order to ensure that fully online courses continue to meet the same learning goals as in-person instruction, online courses will require high standards of course materials and pedagogy.
Whether in person or online, we want to make sure that all SMU faculty have the resources— instructional and technology— to successfully teach in the new instructional world that we will enter in the weeks and months ahead.
To that end, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and the SMU Libraries are doing the following things: Continue reading Preparing for Fall 2020: Ensuring All Faculty Have the Resources for Instructional & Technology Needs to Support Multiple Teaching Modes
Classroom instruction has been turned upside down this year, shifting from 100% in-person to 100% online. As we return to the Hilltop for Summer 2, we are anticipating yet another transition where instruction occurs in both online and face-to-face modalities simultaneously. Pedagogically, this will require a good bit of flexibility for faculty. The classroom technology to support this hybridized approach is also very different and complex. Continue reading Teams pivot to support simultaneous in-person and online classes this fall
On May 11 and 12, 2020, SMU faculty, along with the Office of Information Technology (OIT), SMU Libraries, and SMU Global & Online (SMU GO) convened an unprecedented two-day Zoom extravaganza designed to showcase faculty experiences and advise for how to move remote learning from survival to exceptional.
Finding the New Normal
There has been little time throughout the events of the last month for much thoughtful reflection as to the nature of what we’re doing and what we’ll be doing next. While initial online readiness meant deploying and activating essential online basics to get up and running, week two found us rapidly working to normalize online classrooms as well as working to stabilize student experiences.
As our unprecedented teaching odyssey continues, right alongside a continual, often dizzying narrative of information and misinformation about what’s going on in the world versus what’s going on with Zoom continues, please remember that we’re here to help you navigate and simplify the complex work of online teaching. If you’re struggling to embrace new online teaching technologies, to make course modifications, or to develop new testing and quizzing options, we can help. Continue reading Keep Teaching: Week In Review
(April 6, 2020)