The sudden shift to emergency remote teaching in March, and the news that closely followed which made clear that the spring term would be taught remotely, required new modalities of support for instructors faced with the task of rethinking how their courses would – and could – be taught. The Centre for Teaching Excellence addressed this by designing the Remote Course Design Essentials (ReCoDE) workshop.
ReCoDE blends aspects of course design – such as choosing appropriate learning outcomes, assessments, and teaching activities – with the exploration of new educational technologies that can be employed in the remote teaching environment. Throughout the workshop there are synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to learn and connect.
Synchronously, a welcome session introduces participants to the design of ReCoDE, and an informal virtual coffee chat allows instructors to talk to colleagues about challenges or successes with remote teaching.
Asynchronously, participants work through daily tasks with guided reflection questions to think critically about the design of these remote teaching courses.
Throughout, instructors are encouraged to share their progress on a small group discussion board with their colleagues. As ideas are brought forward, others chime in to lend their thoughts or their own strategies about teaching in this new environment. Each small group has a dedicated facilitator to guide the discussion and add their own expertise in the remote course design process.
The team of workshop facilitators has expanded since the initial design of the experience to include colleagues from the Centre for Extended Learning and the Library to aid in improving the design of ReCoDE and facilitating some of these small groups. We’ve even had faculty members lend their expertise and act as facilitators to share their own unique perspective.
As we now prepare for a fall term taught primarily online, ReCoDE is being reiterated to help instructors prepare for this new reality.