Building Momentum For Fall 2021: Capitalizing On The Transition

Pre-Conference Workshop Session 2
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, José Antonio Bowen (well-known for ‘Naked Teaching’ or teaching without technology) considers why we need to embrace change, stating that ‘those that stay the same during the transition will end up losing.’ The last three semesters have brought about significant change, with the pandemic changing norms and expectations. How will you adjust? As you prepare to teach in Fall 2021, learn how you can take what you have learned to create a better and more engaging experience than either Fall 2019 or Fall 2020.

Virtual pre-conference master classes (Friday, September 17) can be added to your conference registration at a price of $125 for one or $220 for a two workshop combo deal.

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Dr. Tawnya Means is the Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and Chief Learning Officer in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to this role, Tawnya served as the Assistant Dean and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center for the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, leading teaching and learning support and providing faculty development programs and resources for instructional innovation and adoption of pedagogical best practices. With 20 years of experience in higher education, course design, and educational consulting, Tawnya has also taught courses in entrepreneurship, strategy, technology, and leadership in remote teams. Dr. Means received her B.S. in Education, M.S. in Educational Technology, and Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis on learning systems design, all from the University of Missouri. She completed the AACSB Post-doctoral bridge program in Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. Her research interests are in online and blended learning, active learning, learning space design, technology for teaching, access to digital learning resources, and faculty preparation to teach. She has long been a leader in campus initiatives and committees and actively presents at conferences and other institutions and organizations on technology-enhanced learning.

Extended Abstract

The pandemic has pushed us past the barrier of 'you can't teach [fill in your discipline or topic] online' and helped show that blended and flexible learning was not only necessary but when done well, provides a good learning experience that expands access and adaptability, increases inclusive teaching, and improves student success. The changes required for continuity of educational delivery provided most instructors the opportunity to provide online and blended learning experiences to enhance and “right-size” education, creating a personalized and engaging experience for students. Now, as vaccines are readily available and health risks are greatly reduced, institutions and programs are preparing to “return” to more in-residence teaching.

Students and instructors alike have learned much through the pandemic. While some are now online learning champions, others greatly miss the in-person, residential experience and can’t wait to get back into the classroom. But are students missing the brick-and-mortar walls, usually uncomfortable chairs, and full-class lecture sessions? Or are they missing the interaction, communication, sociality, and engagement with others? More likely, they have a new appreciation for the value of being present! In the planned transition back to more in-person experiences, let’s work to preserve and continue to enhance what we can do online and with technology, while innovating in how we center learning around students, focusing on meaningful, transformative, and interactive teaching and learning.

As instructors consider a blended and more in-person teaching environment, they are asking questions regarding, ‘what should happen in person, and what should happen online?,’ and ‘how can the online and in-person experiences support each other to best teach students?,’ ‘what is the right mix?,’ and most importantly 'how do I plan my teaching?'. The Right-Mixing framework ( can help instructors think about learning in real and practical ways that are flexible and can provide for a variety of modalities and learner needs, finding the best way to have the right activity, in the right space, at the right time, in the right way.

In this Master Class workshop, using the Right-Mixing framework, participants will learn about a framework for structuring learning activities, generate ideas for practical teaching and engagement methods and tools, and collect feedback from peers to make course design decisions about how to appropriately select the right mix for optimal learning activities.

Session participants will:

  • gain awareness of changing expectations for learning environments
  • review pandemic course evaluation data and reflect on teaching experiences
  • envision an enhanced teaching environment for transitioning back into blended and in-person teaching
  • become familiar with the Right-Mixing framework
  • analyze a learning activity using the framework
  • identify practical solutions for teaching the topic to students using multiple delivery modalities
  • receive feedback on learning activity ideas