Supporting Faculty through Crisis and Uncertainty: Guiding Principles and Lessons Learned from Spring 2020

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The spring and summer of 2020 was not only a time of upheaval and uncertainty. It was also a time when higher education’s helpers rose to the occasion.  Educational developers, administrative leaders, instructional designers and faculty all rallied around the common cause of bringing continuity, support, and even a dose of hope to students around the world. This lightning talk draws on the presenter’s experiences creating practically-focused guides to emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 crisis, with an invitation to reflect, share our lessons learned, and go forward as a stronger and wiser profession. 

Presenters

Michelle D. Miller is Director of the First Year Learning Initiative, Professor of Psychological Sciences, and President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Miller's academic background is in cognitive psychology; her research interests include memory, attention, and student success in the early college career. She co-created the First Year Learning Initiative at Northern Arizona University and is active in course redesign, serving as a Redesign Scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation. She is the author of Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Harvard University Press, 2014), and has written about evidence-based pedagogy in scholarly as well as general-interest publications including College Teaching, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, and The Conversation. Dr. Miller’s current work focuses on using psychological principles to help instructors create more effective and engaging learning experiences, and to help students become more effective learners.

Extended Abstract

The spring and summer of 2020 was not only a time of upheaval and uncertainty. It was also a time when higher education’s helpers – the unsung heroes of teaching, technology, and student support - rose to the occasion.  Educational developers, administrative leaders, instructional designers, and faculty all rallied around the common cause of bringing continuity, calm, and even a dose of hope to students around the world. This lightning talk draws on the presenter’s experiences publishing several practically-focused guides to emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 crisis. Essential principles that emerged from the crisis include a powerful focus on the goals of instruction, backward design, and on the needs of students themselves. The time period also saw an explosion of interest in alternative models such as hyflex, synchronous online, and asynchronous online. These principles and concepts, plus other important take-aways from the emergency online pivot, can help us reflect and refocus on our roles as educators and educational developers in the post-COVID era to come.