What Do You Do? Pandemic Edition

Friday, April 24, 2020 

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses 

Before our shift to online learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Week in Review was featuring colleagues from around our region and the varied good work that they were doing to support our students. Now, as we work remotely and encounter unique challenges, many of our faculty and staff are pitching in to help.

This week we will have a first-person look at the work of the region’s faculty fellows for excellence in online teaching/learning, Osceola Campus professor of biology Rick Dexter and Lake Nona Campus New Student Experience professor LaVonda Walker-McKnight. These faculty members have stepped in to assist their fellow faculty members as they move to all-online teaching and learning. Their remarkable work does not go unnoticed.

LaVonda and Rick reveal, “First, we have to say that we work with incredible colleagues! Many have done a wonderful job transitioning their courses online and supporting our students. The first week of the transition was hectic for everyone. We had the chance to support colleagues within our disciplines to ensure they had the resources necessary to move remaining content online. We also assisted colleagues in a variety of disciplines collegewide. We were excited to learn that many of our mentees had previous experience teaching online and felt confident about the transition. We witnessed the incredible creativity of our peers as we brainstormed ideas to convert face-to-face learning activities into the virtual classroom.”

“Most of us have settled into online learning. As a result, our focus has shifted to the summer term. Faculty fellows will continue our involvement with collegewide efforts to support faculty as they transition entire courses fully online. We have been working hard in tandem with the Online Teaching and Learning team to develop a condensed, immersive version of the digital professor experience to support faculty teaching in the online environment. We will also create a new training opportunity for faculty participating in Course Peer Review. We both have extensive experience teaching online as well as supporting colleagues with the Course Peer Review process. It may be helpful for faculty to consider reviewing the Rubric for Online Competencies as they design their summer courses. We are available to answer questions about course design and the Rubric for Online Competencies as colleagues move forward.”

LaVonda also participated in Circles of Innovation on Zoom and developed a video about creating recurring virtual student engagement hours in Zoom. The video includes tips on how to add a link to virtual student engagement hours in the Canvas course menu.

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