Tuesday, May 19, 2020

cliffAs Waterloo instructors have pivoted to remote instruction during the COVID-19 situation, so have CTE’s staff members! Our various teams continue to meet online using MS Teams and WebEx, and we’ve redeveloped some of our programming into virtual workshops and presentations (a full listing of upcoming events is here). 

As one example, we’ve turned our longstanding Course Design Workshop -- which took place over a single, full-day -- into a new workshop called Remote Course Design Essentials (ReCoDE), which takes place asynchronously over five days in LEARN. The online, asynchronous format allows instructors to devote an hour or so to the workshop each day, whenever it best suits them. Two synchronous sessions are also built into the new workshop, giving instructors the opportunity to chat with the facilitators about any questions that might have arisen from the asynchronous components. Facilitators of the ReCoDE workshop have included staff from CTE and CEL, as well as Gordon Stubley (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) and Igor Ivkovic (Systems Design Engineering).  

We’ve also used Bongo’s Virtual Classroom to move our popular PebblePad workshops online (PebblePad Parts 1 and 2, and Atlas Parts 1 and 2), as well as several offerings of Getting Started in Learn (in collaboration with staff from IST). Additionally, we’ve collaborated with instructors to deliver interactive presentations using WebEx, such as “Tell Me What You Know: Oral Examinations to Assess and Enhance Student Learning” (Diana Skrzydlo, Statistics and Actuarial Science) and “Simple and Effective Online Teaching” (James Skidmore, German Studies, and Victoria Feth). Our Faculty Liaisons also hosted a virtual, drop-in Q & A for instructors that was devoted to creating quizzes and question pools in LEARN.  

A more unique example of how CTE has shifted some programming online emerges from our Graduate Supervision Series. New faculty member Alana Cattapan undertook that series, but was unable to complete planned in-person alternatives to some of the required workshops because of the campus closure. Working with CTE’s Trevor Holmes, Alana proposed a portfolio approach in which she tied policies to the scenarios, reflected on our supervision expectations survey, responded to the workshop textbook, researched recruitment strategies in her discipline, and reflected on workshop slides developed by Conflict Management and Human Rights. She then met virtually with Trevor and Jeff Casello (AVP Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs), who addressed subtleties typically covered in the face-to-face workshops.  

CTE has additionally developed new online resources to assist instructors with their shift to remote teaching. New Tip Sheets include Creating a Narrated PowerPoint PresentationMaking the Transition to Online ExamsStudent Guidelines for Communicating in Online, Professional Contexts, and Holding Virtual Office Hours Using Bongo and WebEx. CTE staff have also collaborated with CEL and IST to create new resources that are available on the Keep Learning website.  

And, of course, our consultations with instructors have also continued, albeit virtually! From the day campus closed to April 30, our staff engaged in 949 consultations, 741 of which were directly related to questions about remote teaching. 

We look forward to providing you with more online programming while the campus is closed -- and to seeing you in person again when the campus (eventually!) re-opens.