Prioritizing Pedagogy in a Pandemic

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Join us as we discuss and dissect our approach to prioritizing pedagogy in a pandemic. We will highlight our 4 week facilitated bootcamp for faculty across two campuses, lessons learned, and next steps for scalable, continued professional development opportunities grounded in evidence-based practices.


A Colorado native and graduate of both CU-Boulder and CU-Denver, Lainie is a great believer in the benefits of combining mountain air with an excellent education. She holds a Master's degree in Information and Learning Technologies, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology. She works to foster an environment of curiosity and exploration, which lends itself well to the growing landscape of digital education. Her strengths include a flexible communication style, an energetic approach to problem-solving, and a strong belief in cooperative experiences.
Sarah is a Senior Instructional Designer at the University of Colorado-Denver in the Office of Digital Education. She works with faculty on designing and delivering online courses, collaborates with instructional designers across colleges and programs, and delivers faculty professional development for excellent online pedagogy.. She has a background in communication, extensive online teaching experience, and is a doctoral candidate in education with a focus on learning technologies. Her interests include creating engaging online learning environments, improving online presence, and designing learning experiences which foster student self-regulation and motivation.

Additional Authors

Lynee is a senior instructional designer at CU Denver who focuses on online program design and faculty development. She has a background in academic libraries and is keen on researching and discussing the in and outs of the online learning experience. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is happy to be in Colorado with her husband and daughter. She has an undergraduate degree in art history and graduate degrees in library science and instructional technologies.

Extended Abstract

COVID-19, shelter in place, and the quick shift to remote and online teaching threw us all for a loop. It is no secret that higher education institutions are often mismatched in the number of instructional design staff to the number of courses and faculty teaching online, and this discrepancy was emphasized during the pandemic. We were faced with the immediate challenge of promoting pedagogy for the following semesters in a time when many faculty new to online teaching were relying on long Zoom sessions to substitute for the in-class education experience. 

In shifting to meet the needs presented by the pandemic, we leveraged and analyzed our existing 8-week professional development course to create a 4-week pedagogically focused bootcamp. Following best practices for teaching accelerated courses, we evaluated the current course and identified which key areas were mission critical to the needs of faculty during this time. Topics in the bootcamp course include the theory and foundation of online pedagogy, creating community in the online classroom, and engaging and motivating students through a variety of strategies. This course, paired with increased technological training offerings and consultations by our instructional consultant colleagues, was a holistic approach to promoting pedagogy and sound course design without ignoring faculty’s technological needs. 

The bootcamp follows our approach to the instructional design process with faculty, which is unique and based in partnership and collaboration. Honoring and valuing the expertise of both faculty and instructional designers allows us to collaborate and design courses in a scalable and meaningful way. We believe that empowering faculty to develop their own courses, with consultations from instructional designers and instructional consultants, promotes ownership and teaching presence in their online courses. 

We will open the session with a poll on measures used to support faculty in the transition to online and include round table discussions on best approaches for prioritizing online pedagogy in situations requiring quick turn around times. We will also share data collected from the post-course survey for the May and July iterations of the bootcamp. 

Presentation materials, including resources to integrate the Community of Inquiry framework, will be provided during the presentation for future use.