Pivoting from Emergency Remote Instruction to High-Quality Online Instruction
The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine shifted to emergency remote instruction for all courses and programs. After the shift, it became evident that the quality of online instruction must be improved. Partnering with faculty to develop and update professional development opportunities helped significantly improve the quality of online instruction.
In Spring 2020, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine abruptly moved to emergency remote instruction for all face-to-face courses and programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many other institutions, this disruption was responsible for many anxieties and issues experienced by students, faculty, and administration. Once the institution transitioned to emergency remote instruction, a new challenge was presented; pivoting from emergency remote instruction to high-quality online instruction. Strategies used during remote instruction were primarily instruction with a reliance on our web-conferencing platform in an effort to maintain the atmosphere and momentum for students who were also transitioning from face-to-face instruction. After the term ended, instructors expressed their desire to continue teaching in the same manner. Over time, enrollment in the online program increased significantly, and there are currently no plans to continue the face-to-face versions of programs in the School of Graduate Education. With this commitment to online instruction, it became imperative that the quality of instruction must be improved. The online learning team partnered with faculty to develop and update professional development opportunities to improve the quality of online instruction. Since beginning the improvement initiative, online instruction has improved significantly.