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La Salle News

March 16, 2020

Note to Faculty about Continuing Educational Preparations

Colleagues,

We continue to monitor all public health and government updates as we proceed with plans for educational and necessary operational work during the pandemic. Things continue to develop rapidly and we’re all working to get our bearings after a week that included a Time Change, Full Moon, Friday the 13th, the Ides of March, and the declaration of a National Emergency.

Before I share updates related to our schedule of remote learning workshops, I’d like to remind you to check your email frequently for messages from students and colleagues. There’s a great deal of information that needs to be shared in the days and weeks ahead, and we need everyone to stay in the loop.

Upcoming Fall Course Registration

Fall 2020 course registration is on-going and registration for first-year students opens Thursday, March 26. The entire process can be completed online. Students will thus need to conduct advising meetings with you via email, phone, Skype, Zoom or other method. You’ll be able to access DegreeWorks from home and I ask that you please do all you can to support our students. It’s important that we continue to conduct our courses for this semester as well as get students registered for Fall and Summer courses. You can reach out to your Chair, Dean’s office or someone in the Registrar’s Office, if you require assistance.

Preparation to Transition to Online Instruction

Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17), the University is providing workshops that will help prepare you for leading your courses using digital resources. In collaboration with the University’s Office of Information Technology and the Instructional Design Team, we’ve developed the following series of workshops and training opportunities for you to leverage. (The full list is available below.)

More Information

  • Open Office Hours. You’ll notice several mentions in the calendar of Open Office Hours. These two-hour blocks represent windows of time during which you can log-in through Zoom and ask questions pertinent to your remote learning experience.
  • Online pedagogy. In addition to the training listed below, the Instructional Design Team is offering Teaching Online with La Salle. This is a four-week, online course that will introduce faculty to online pedagogy and guide faculty members through the beginning stages of online course development. It is open to all faculty. Click here to register.
  • Questions. If you have additional questions, you can always email idteam@lasalle.edu or helpdesk@lasalle.edu.

Some Useful Reminders

~Highlights from “How to Make Your Online Pivot Less Brutal”

  • It’s OK to not know what you’re doing.
    •  …you’re not alone in this endeavor, and there is much collective wisdom in places like Twitter and other social media as members of the higher-ed community have offered to share resources, communication plans, and a variety of tips and tricks.
  • Good teaching is good teaching.
    • Good pedagogy requires:
      • Regular, effective, and compassionate communication with students.
      • Flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
      • Transparency in course materials, like tests, assignments, and activities.
  • Keep it as simple, and accessible, as you can.
    • A sudden move from in-person to distance learning is disruptive enough — there’s no need to add to it by introducing complicated, unnecessary tools and procedures.
    • Start with what you’ve already been doing online as a regular part of your course: email, maybe various functions of your campus learning-management system (such as Canvas), and perhaps Zoom or Skype video-chatting.
  • Expect turbulence, change your flight plan accordingly.
    • These are not the circumstances any of us imagined teaching in when the year began, and it’s useful to acknowledge that to both yourself and your students. Recognize that it’s not a matter of if, but rather when, you will need to rethink things like grading, due dates, assignment design, and class participation.
  • Online doesn’t have to mean impersonal.
    • Technology doesn’t teach; teachers teach. There are lots of tech tools out there, and they can do some pretty cool things — but they’re still just tools. Ask yourself: How can you use those tools to remain present with your students within the course

As we take these critically important steps toward ensuring academic continuity, I’d like to express my gratitude. Our University takes great pride in its rich legacy of providing a high-quality education through impactful, transformational teaching. These extraordinary circumstances may challenge us, but they will not compromise our tradition.

Let’s lean on each other as we make this transition to remote learning.

Sincerely,

Lynne A. Texter, Ph.D.
Interim Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs


Remote Teaching Workshops
View the most up-to-date schedule of workshops and trainings »

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