Concurrent Session Tracks:
- Welcome Session
- Keynote Sessions
- Morning Speed Sessions
- Afternoon Speed Sessions
8:30 am - 9:00 am CDT
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Mary Niemiec, Associate Vice President Distance Education & Director University of Nebraska Online (UNCA) | Dr. Susan Fritz, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Provost (UNCA)
9:00 am - 10:00 am CDT
Opening Keynote Session
What will remain after the pandemic?
Shigeru Miyagawa, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean of Opening Learning and Professor of Linguistics (MIT)
Sponsored By: Connection Public Sector Solutions
While we are all anxious to get back to teaching and working on campus, it is unlikely that we will go back completely to the pre-pandemic ways given the enormous disruption we are living through. I interviewed more than thirty MIT faculty members about teaching and working during the pandemic, and these interviews gave hints of what we might expect will remain once we begin teaching face-to-face again. While adoption of technology naturally played an important role, I found even more striking a fundamental shift in the faculty's attitude toward students and teaching. I believe that this will have a deep and lasting impact beyond the pandemic.
10:05 am - 10:30 am CDT
Speed Session - 1
Shift Happens: Cultivating Student Success in Online Performance and Experience-Based Courses
Derrick Fox, Ph.D. (UNO)
In March of 2020, many performance and experience-based courses were abruptly shifted online for many of us in the NU system and at many universities around the world. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in these communities of practice flourished because of the informal interactions with their peers, in-person instruction from faculty and focused learning spaces on campus. While we cannot quite return to the pre-pandemic instructional learning communities where Brady Bunch boxes and dark screens do not exist, we can set our students up for success in this time of online learning by addressing their social -emotional needs and offering a variety of on-ramps to engage in learning. Performance and experience-based courses in the online space will never be equal to the in-person experiences we were used to building but you don’t have to be muted by the challenge of shifting online. This session will help you find success in your online performance and experience-based course with adaptable, synchronous and asynchronous learning activities for use in online courses.
- Learn how to use the Jigsaw Learning Strategy in online course to build community and foster collaborative learning.
- Learn how to use Flip Grid to support asynchronous learning and engage student in peer feedback.
- Gain an understanding of how addressing students' social and emotional needs can improve engagement in online courses.
Successfully Managing WFH Teams When WFH Seems Unmanageable
Alyssa Wyant (UNK) | Danielle Kluver (UNK) | Shelby Hoffman (UNK)
Shifting overnight into remote work was a challenge for many higher education professionals. Not only were employees sent home, but many women were asked to wear multiple hats consisting of employee, manager, caretaker, mother, teacher, etc. In this speed session, identify tools, tactics, and tips on how to be a successful leader and remote worker. Understand challenges many WFH employees may face and strategies to overcome them. Learn to collaborate as a team, celebrate successes, and hold one another accountable to accomplish the task at hand. Clearly understand how to elevate yourself and your team as you successfully navigate the WFH lifestyle.
- Identify potential challenges that employees face while working in a remote environment and strategies to overcome them.
- Navigate tools to help you manage projects as an individual or team.
- Understand how to effectively hold employees or teams responsible without micromanaging.
Rethinking Psychomotor Skill Acquisition in a Pandemic
Steph Langel (UNMC) | Sara Bills, PT, DPT, GCS (UNMC) | Kellie Gossman, PT, DPT, CLT, PCS (UNMC)
Teaching online is difficult. Teaching psychomotor skills online feels near impossible. Leaning on motor learning theory, the Division of Physical Therapy Education and the E-Learning Program at UNMC employed strategies to teach lab skills online so that students could continue to progress in the program despite a global pandemic. In this session, we will share how you can initiate psychomotor skill learning in an online format. We will discuss our use of Storyline to create interactive modules for learner conceptualization, visualization, and verbalization of skills. Learn what activities facilitate each step, thereby allowing the student to arrive at in-person sessions ready for hands-on practice. Presenters will share the successes and strategies worth keeping in a post-pandemic world.
- Employ motor learning theory in your teaching practice.
- Initiate motor learning online so that you can maximize your in-person time.
- Work together to lighten the load of digital creation.
Free Gatsby: OERs and The Public Domain
Julia Remsik Larsen (UNL) | Jeff Kosse, Ph.D. (UNL)
On the heels of The Great Gatsby entering the public domain, this session will be a space to discuss how to find and utilize open education resources (OERs). While the co-presenters will provide information about leading resources and possible strategies to incorporate these in the classroom, attendees are invited to offer their own experiences, concerns, failures, and successes in utilizing content intended to reduce costs and increase accessibility for students.
- Identify benefits of OERs to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Identify leading OERs.
- Summarize uses of OERs in various classroom modes.
Aiming for a Moving Target: Tech Kits for Pandemic Planning (and Beyond?)
Tamatha Perlman (Macalester College)
Faced with an uncertain fall, Macalester prepared for a changing landscape of learning and teaching in a classroom, at home, or both at once. Equipping physical spaces with built-in technology geared towards hyflex learning presented real limitations: it’s expensive, takes time, and would be rendered useless by a return to fully-remote learning. Our goals were to provide a solution that was flexible, easy, and affordable. Working closely with faculty and IT leaders, our team of academic technologists came up with a solution: the Tech Kit: an iPad, Apple Pencil, webcam, and tripod supplied to faculty. This combination of tools filled key gaps in the remote learning environment, allowing faculty to whiteboard virtually, annotate texts by hand, and grade paperlessly. The kit was also designed to make the hybrid classroom manageable for instructors, easing the capture of classroom audio and video for both recordings and synchronous participation. Paired with virtual and in-person training opportunities over the summer, the Tech Kit proved to be broadly successful. Hear the decision making process, and details of the tech kit rollout, including device management, training, creative uses, and the ups and downs.
- Learn how the Tech Kit allowed our small liberal arts college the flexibility it needed to support faculty and create an adaptable learning environment.
- Gain insight into the results including increased digital literacy partnership between faculty, academic technologists, and ITS.
- Learn about new opportunities in teaching and learning even after campus life returns to in person classes.
Instructional Designers as Leadership Agents: Practical Strategies to Address Challenges in Building Effective Remote Teams
Isandra Martinez-Marrero (University of Iowa) | Pinar M. Celik (University of Iowa) | Susan E. Bailey (University of Iowa)
Over the past year academic institutions across the nation have been challenged to pivot to online and virtual teaching and learning. To answer this call, Instructional Designers mobilized existing problem-solving skills to promote effective and sustainable solutions for this unprecedented challenge. We are Lead Instructional Designers in distance and online education at the University of Iowa. In this session, we will review current practices from the past year of working and collaborating at a distance and share practical strategies. The following questions will guide our conversation: How do you keep a team working together effectively during an unexpected shift to remote work? How can you plan for hiring and onboarding new staff remotely? What enables effective collaboration among disparate groups? Who should attend? The primary audience for this workshop is instructional designers and administrators. All those interested in learning more about building effective remote teams are welcome to attend.
- Identify practical strategies to address challenges in building effective remote teams.
- Gain tips to maintaining effective communication and enabling effective collaboration.
- Learn how to supporting team engagement.
10:35 am - 11:00 am CDT
Speed Session - 2
Pivoting On A Dime: Leading and Building Research and Teaching Resilience At A Public Research University
Salwa Ismail (University of California, Berkeley) | Shawna Dark (University of California, Berkeley) | Jody Couch (University of California, Berkeley)
It seems like ages ago, but it was only last year that universities were thrown into a frenzy and had to shut down physical spaces, pivoting to build virtual spaces in support of learning, research and teaching due to stay at home orders. As faculty, students and campus administrators looked to libraries and campus IT to provide services that would enable them to continue their activities in virtual environments, strategies, services and workflows had to be reimagined to support these expectations. As leaders in libraries and campus IT, we collaborated to implement thinking and behaviors for agile and iterative work, inclusive participation, risk-taking, accountability and overall shared goals for the ultimate success of our organization. We spun up agile services around supporting courses in LMS (Canvas), providing online course reserves (books, articles, media), creating tools for health and safety (campus dashboards) and many other related services. These initiatives required strategic leadership, collaboration among staff from different areas and user centered design planning. In this session, we’ll highlight key services and how we provided leadership and a learning environment to empower our teams to provide support that created resilience in teaching and research for our faculty and staff.
- Gain an understanding of basic buildings blocks and strategies that can be deployed at your institution to build research and teaching resilience in their practice.
- Learn about strategies to rebrand and leverage IT projects to promote organizational change.
- Learn about helping to pivot your institution to a learning organization by deploying agile and iterative methodologies and shared leadership.
Beyond Breakout Rooms: Activities to Engage Students in Synchronous Learning
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. (UNK)
With more students and faculty engaging in remote learning, there is increasing attention on creating an interactive, remote learning experience that engages students as active participants in the teaching and learning dynamic. Simply put, students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning experience (rather than being passive consumers of information). While creating activities that are simultaneously meaningful and engaging can be a challenge, the synchronous online classroom offers a range of unique opportunities for interaction, engagement and dialogue. Presentation highlights unique, innovative activities that can be incorporated in the synchronous online classroom to foster student learning, engagement, satisfaction and community.
- Explore activities to humanize the synchronous online learning experience and create a learning community.
- Examine engaging activities that can be integrated into the remote, synchronous online classroom.
- Implement student-centered approaches to synchronous online teaching and learning.
Remote Learning Inside the Virtual Carson Center and Mozilla Hubs
Ben Kreimer (UNL) | Ash Smith (UNL) | Jesse Fleming (UNL) | Anna Henson (UNL)
When COVID-19 closed the Carson Center's doors at 13th and Q Streets, the virtual Carson Center's doors opened inside Mozilla Hubs. Seizing the pandemic as an opportunity to try alternative remote learning platforms, Carson Center faculty Ash Smith, Jesse Fleming, Anna Henson and creative technologist-in-residence Ben Kreimer have been meeting classes in Mozilla Hubs, including inside a virtual Carson Center. A free, open-source and browser-based virtual-world for social experiences, Hubs works on computers, mobile devices and virtual reality headsets. Users embody avatars and can explore 3D environments, walk up and talk to other people/avatars and speak to groups, providing a virtual social experience akin to face-to-face in-person interaction. By importing images, videos, text, audio and 3D models, faculty and students have used Hubs for world-building, user experience design exercises, live action role-playing and other remote learning experiences. The virtual Carson Center also hosted the Spring 2020 Open Studios event, where students created 3D environments to present their work, and interacted with visitors from around the nation and world. The Carson Center panelists will show how they have used Mozilla Hubs for remote learning, and show participants how they can use the platform for teaching, social interaction, and events.
- Learn about Mozilla Hubs, an accessible video conferencing alternative that provides a virtual three-dimensional social experience akin to face-to-face interaction.
- Experience the Hubs platform flexibly which enables both individual and collaborative projects, and supports common image, video, audio, text and 3D file formats.
- Understand how Mozilla Hubs supports virtual classes, performances, film screenings and other live social events, enabling broad community engagement and conversations.
Online Content 'Miner's - Approaches to Enhance Student Engagement, Learning and Critical Thinking
David M. Harwood (UNL) | Eyde Olson (UNL) | Gosia Mahoney (UNL)
Student engagement and learning is enhanced through exploration and 'mining' internet content, specifically short videos shared and discussed asynchronously with peers. This approach enables students to follow their curiosity and invest in their learning across course-related themes. In GEOL 125: Frontiers of Antarctic Geosciences, students are exposed to a range of rich and visual content that brings Antarctica, scientific research activities and topical subjects into clear focus. Students conclude each of four themes by developing high-level questions that enhance and focus student discussion boards, fostering enriched and shared learning. Students welcome freedom to explore topics of interest to them within the general flow of course material, and connections made between students with similar interests. The instructor regards well-developed student-generated questions as perhaps more important than the eventual 'answers', as the ability to frame complex questions is an important step in insightful critical thinking, and discovery of new knowledge. Students pursue what interests them, and instructors highlight and expand upon the best materials students bring forward. Teaching with student-identified content requires that instructors ‘let-go’ to build upon student curiosity, and add key foundational content in reflection and close-out summaries. These are developmental steps toward personal skillsets and joy in lifelong learning.
- Become inspired to support the inclusion of student-identified online resources into the framework of course delivery.
- Learn how student engagement is enhanced if they control and invest in elements of their learning, and see instructors responding to what they contribute.
- Gain insight into how student-generated questions have great value as the entry point for discussion-board posts, as they fosters inquiry and critical thinking in their peers and themselves.
Embracing Disruption: Taking Theatre Virtual
Jason Jamerson (UNO) | Steven Williams (UNO)
For nearly a year, the entertainment industry has been frozen around the world, from Hollywood to Broadway, from concerts to cruise lines, the pandemic has fundamentally disrupted the ways we create and consume content. In UNO’s theatre department, a flexible, proactive teamwork enabled us to pivot the way that we rehearse and present our work from traditional in-person experiences to high-tech, innovative film and virtual reality experiences at the cutting edge of the entertainment industry. Using video examples of our performances and our processes, we propose to share our journey from our first filmed performance at the beginning of the year, to our fully 3D Virtual Environment Shakespeare performance this Spring. By embracing the disruption, and allowing a passion for new technology and media to empower us, we have made a great leap forward in the educational experience of our students, in a way that positions us on the leading edge of what it means to create, explore and communicate today. As is the world, our department is changed forever by the events of our time. But our reaction has empowered us with new tools and new practices that leave us stronger and more capable than ever, and will prepare our students for the multimedia future that is here sooner than expected.
- Let disruption help you evolve new methods and knowledge.
- Step incrementally into new and adjacent processes and projects.
- Learn to see limitations as the catalyst for the unexpected.
Engagement Strategies for Hybrid and Online Instruction
Jody Boyer (UNO) | Jack Zerbe (UNO)
Are you having difficulty finding ways to connect and build relationships with students through Zoom? Do you struggle with sleepy faced students during remote synchronous instruction? Is there painful silence when you attempt to facilitate dialogue and collaboration in this new way of teaching? If any of this speaks to you then this professional development workshop is for you! In this workshop learn relationship building techniques that can break the silence, deepen understanding and build student voice in your classroom. You will also gain a toolbox of instructional strategies and tech tools to engage instantaneous collaboration, dialogue and feedback with students.
- Strategies to engage students in both the hybrid and online learning environments.
- Tools to increase collaboration and dialogue that can be used alongside Canvas.
- Methodology for structuring instruction for student success in the post-COVID pedagogy.
11:10 am - 12:00 pm CDT
ID Summit Workshop: Proctoring Limitations and Alternative Assessments
Michael Jolley, Ph.D. (UNCA)
Marketing Workshop: Using Market Research to Inform Program Development
Laura Weise (UNCA) | Jenni McKie (UNCA)
Developing a new online program takes valuable time and human resources. Market research can help departments be efficient and strategic when considering new programs for development. NU Online offers campuses in-house market assessment services and maintains external market resource partnerships in order to provide departments with market intelligence. Market sizing, supply/demand factors, saturation and labor force information will be discussed. Market research can be useful at any point in the program development process, and the earlier the better.
- Learn about market research resources available to campuses through NU Online.
- Explore key market assessment factors and how they can impact a program’s positioning.
- Hear from campus colleagues how they used market intelligence to guide their program development.
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm CDT
Security Incident Response: What Would You Do?
Cheryl O'Dell, CISSP (UNMC)
How to respond to a security incident is something that should be practiced often, so when an incident occurs, everyone knows what to do and what is expected. Come and be part of an incident response team as we work through an incident in a tabletop exercise in a mystery type of motif. There will be roles to fulfill (maybe you want to be a security analyst, or an incident commander, or the communication specialist). Join this session and claim your role, and your script and be part of a Cyber Security Incident Response Team. (No experience is needed. Information will be provided, along with clues and what you need to share at specific times. Ad lib'ing is wildly encouraged.)
- Understand the importance of communication during a security incident.
- Learn how security incidents are handled.
- Gain an understanding of why practicing incident response is important.
DEI: Climbing Out of the Valley of Despair
Tracy Weber (University of Notre Dame) | Nina Holdread (University of Notre Dame)
Navigating cultural changes around diversity, equity and inclusion requires commitment and perseverance. We are not climbing a ladder - we are navigating a challenging terrain that at times includes bumps and deep valleys. In this session we will share experiences and draw inspiration from each other to stay the course and achieve our aspirations of higher ed as a model for the inclusive workplace. We will discuss how the change management framework we apply to technology implementation can help us with our DEI efforts. We will share and learn from each others' experiences, draw inspiration and together explore how we can chart our path in new ways.
- Learn how the change management frameworks we apply to technology implementations can help us with our DEI efforts.
- Hear experiences from other institutions of how they navigated through their toughest DEI challenges.
- Identify one actionable step to improve DEI at their own institution.
Universal Design: Honestly, It Is For Everyone!
Melissa Diers (UNMC) | Suhasini Kotcherlakota, Ph.D. (UNMC) | Analisa McMillan, Ph.D.(UNMC)
The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework helps faculty and faculty support staff optimize and improve equitable learning and teaching outcomes for everyone. Join us in this session as we discuss the UDL framework and its role in making learning inclusive and transformative for all. In addition to discovering the “Why, What, and How” of learning from the UDL guidelines, we will discuss how they fit into providing equity and inclusion in your classroom. The ‘Faculty Four’ – a set of expanding techniques that reduce or remove barriers for learners and faculty members will be described. Finally, you will get to engage with your peers and practice the “UDL in the Next 20 Minutes” framework to create inclusive designs for classrooms and teaching.
- Understand the UDL framework and the impact on inclusive design.
- Identify the UDL Faculty Four components: alt text, accessible documents, media, and third-party resources in regard to developing content.
- Practice the “UDL in the Next 20 Minutes” framework to redesign content.
2:00 pm - 2:25 pm CDT
Speed Session - 3
Google Jamboard: Establishing Positive Learning Environments and Norms Regardless of the Course Format
Kelly Gomez Johnson, Ed.D (UNO)
Creating an inclusive classroom environment is a critical component of teaching and learning. In the face of COVID-19, faculty and students are grappling with ways to successfully engage in coursework and with each other. As faculty navigate facilitating instruction in a variety of formats, at times simultaneously (e.g., in-person, online, hybrid, Hi-flex), students are also left wondering about their role in the classroom. Establishing co-constructed expectations on what it means to be successful in your course and beyond can be a powerful way to leverage the positive experiences of students' prior experiences and also set high standards for collective engagement. In this presentation, attendees will actively participate in exercises to promote a positive and inclusive learning environment while using open-access tools to engage students.
- Understand why establishing a positive learning environment is their responsibility and reasons why it is important to student achievement.
- Participate in a Norm setting exercise using Google Jamboard to experience how the platform can be used and how the exercise can be facilitated for students.
- Brainstorm with colleagues about how to modify, adapt and implement a similar exercise or tool into their course(s) regardless of the course format.
Strategies for Effective Hybrid Course Instruction
Cynthia Cress, Ph.D. (UNL)
Teaching in a hybrid online and in-person format requires managing multiple elements of class instruction. This session covers essential tips for synchronous teaching, basic technology issues and considerations, tips for hybrid class teaching, and general instructional methods well suited to adaptation to hybrid formats. A year ago, this presenter was a technology "dinosaur" and had never done online instruction, set a meeting in Zoom, or used Canvas beyond basic informative purposes. The tips are derived from student input in multiple classes about ways that she has learned to do hybrid instruction effectively. These classes include large enrollment undergraduate classes, hands-on laboratory components of large classes, and smaller graduate seminars. Participants with any level of experience with hybrid instruction are welcome to join.
- Identify teaching strategies that facilitate student engagement in hybrid format.
- Learn how to get past barriers to participation and engagement in hybrid format.
- Learn how to restructure class "hands-on" activities to suit hybrid format.
Preparation and Resilience: Key Factors in Remote Learning
Ladan Ghazi Saidi, Ph.D. (UNK) | Sharon Obasi, Ph.D. (UNK) | Carie Kracl, Ph.D. (UNK) | Miechelle McKelvey, Ph.D. (UNK)
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, our institution, like others in higher education, suspended face-to-face classes and offered remote learning as an alternative. In November 2020, we report five cases of undergraduate and graduate courses that transitioned from a face-to-face to a remote mode (Ghazi Saidi et al., 2020). In this presentation, we discuss how each course was moved to an online mode, how the course was managed, the instructors’ previous experience in online teaching, their self-reflection on the process of transitioning to remote learning. We will discuss the combined results of the cases reported in this study and provide recommendations based on this study. Further, we will discuss the students’ perspectives based on their responses to an online survey. This presentation will be of interest to the audience given that it will provide both faculty and students’ perspectives and will include information that can be valuable for faculty members for a more successful experience in a similar potential scenario in the future. Ghazi-Saidi, L., Criffield, A., Kracl, C. L., McKelvey, M., Obasi, S. N., & Vu, P. (2020). Moving from face-to-face to remote instruction in a higher education institution during a pandemic: Multiple case studies. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, 4(4), 370-383.
- Learn how sudden shutdown of the university, along with disease-related fears, caused anxiety both for the students and instructors regardless of previous experience in online education. Further, how the mode of delivery of the course (synchronous, asynchronous or blended) did not have an effect on students’ satisfaction.
- Understand how the combined results of the cases reported in this study reflect the resilience on both sides.
- Learn about what infrastructure is needed to ensure a smooth transition.
WIST: The Power of Mentorship to Female STEM Students
Jennifer Kim (Montgomery County Community College) | Mary Beaver (Montgomery County Community College) | Sarah Johnson (Montgomery County Community College) | Mary-Kate Najarian, Ph.D. (Montgomery County Community College)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2026 predictions, there will be a 19% increase in computer science jobs. Yet, women in the field have continued to decline since 2013 to an all-time low of 14%-18%. The pipeline for women in the area is marginally small, too, with 18% of women seeking computer science degrees in the United States. Montgomery County Community College also saw this trend with a decline in females enrolling in CIS courses. Montgomery County Community College Information Technology Department comprises 50% females from all different learning paths and has had a female IT leader since the 1980s. Our VP has been in the CIS field for over 50 years. The department women hold positions in both the hard and soft areas of IT, and many hold managerial roles. Since we saw the decline of females in CIS courses and are an anomaly to the statistic, we formed the Women in Science and Technology (WIST) group to help our female students. Our mission is to be a mentor and advocate for female retention and completion and a resource as they continue in their educational journey and career in STEM. Hear how we brought our vision and mission to reality, our successes and challenges, and our plans.
- Understand the importance of keeping females in the science, technology, engineering, math, and multimedia fields.
- Learn about the process involved in supporting women in science, technology, engineering, math, and multimedia courses.
- Gain insight into how to develop one of your own mentorship programs at institutions.
Cultivating a Culture for Change
Kelley Bradder (Higher Digital) | Colleen Baker (Higher Digital)
There’s a lot of talk about change these days, but with transformation here and disruption there, it’s important to keep change working for you, not against you, as your instrument, not your master. What does your institution really need to do right now, to continue operating successfully while continuing to evolve through your strategy and toward your vision? How are you involving technology in these decisions, rather than blindly dictating to it or fearfully playing along with it? What methods are enabling you to change iteratively with frequent course correction that balances objectives, results, and organizational learning? Your institution could “know” that all of these things are important and yet still struggle with all of them if the changes are rejected by your culture. It’s also important not to “over-rotate” to change for the sake of change. Cultivating a culture of change is exhausting and not sustainable. Cultivating a culture for change is all about doing new things better while staying who you are.
- Learn how strategic alignment improved through nourished culture.
- Gain insight into cultural pivots that link leadership-driven strategy to cross-functional digital change management.
- Learn the steps to manage in-flight change.
Incorporating Tactile Elements and Empathy into the Online Environment
Kristin Malek, Ph.D. (UNL)
With a PhD focused in virtual and hybrid events looking specifically at engagement and learning, Dr. Malek has incorporated many tried and true elements of virtual events into her online classroom. This speed session will discuss actual use cases of incorporating engagement practices online, a class 'box', the importance of physical paper, actual student feedback and how these tactics increased enrollment in the course over 200% from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021.
- Learn what a class box is and how to utilize it effectively.
- Gain insight into how to create a culture of caring and empathy no matter what class size.
- Learn about effective online engagement practices that can be implemented immediately.
2:30 pm - 2:55 pm CDT
Speed Session - 4
Campus COVID Divide: Issues with Collegiate Digital Divide
Olimpia Leite-Trambly (UNK) | Toni Hill, Ph.D. (UNK) | Sharon Obasi, Ph.D. (UNK) | Ogbonnaya Akpa, Ph.D. (UNL)
While COVID-19 has caused devastation across the globe, it has also brought much-needed attention to the technological needs of university and college campuses. Due to the global pandemic, all campuses were forced to address the digital divide for all members of the campus community, including students, staff and faculty. Research shows approximately 20 percent of college students in the United States do not have the technological capabilities needed for an online or in-person education (Inside Higher Ed, June 10, 2020). Due to the pandemic, campuses were forced to deliver student services and courses in an online format. The pandemic highlighted issues related to technical knowledge, access to adequate technology such as computers and software, and availability of high-speed internet. Yet, some diverse students benefited from the infusion of online technology for services and courses in synchronous and asynchronous formats allowing for the maintenance of other commitments to family and work. This presentation will focus on the advantages COVID-19 presented for a diverse, multi-generational group of collegiate learners. Symposium participants will be challenged to explore efforts to continually provide an equitable learning environment for a variety of diverse learners.
- Understand the student digital divide.
- Review of resources for students.
- Learn about supportive course delivery formats.
Developing and Implementing Online Medical Microbiology Laboratory Unknowns
Linsey Donner MLS-ASCP (UNMC) | Marnie Imhoff MLS-ASCP (UNMC)
This session explores the creation, dissemination and implementation of online medical microbiology laboratory unknowns. During the session, we will discuss the process of developing laboratory demonstration videos and building fully online laboratory unknowns in a medical microbiology course to enhance student learning.
- Discuss the successes and failures in the development and implementation of online medical microbiology lab unknowns.
- Describe the use of online culture unknowns to promote student understanding of medical microbiology concepts.
- Develop an understanding of how to create and implement laboratory demonstration videos and online laboratory unknowns.
A Science Communication Infographic and Video Project to Engage Remote Chemistry Students
Mark Griep, Ph.D. (UNL) | Ashley Woolfork (UNL)
Given the move to a mostly online experience in the Fall 2020 instruction of Chemistry and the Citizen 1 (340 students), Science Communication Projects were created as a way for students to engage with chemistry in the context of online media. Each student created an infographic and video about one of the course’s four discussion topics. With the infographics, they learned how to communicate chemistry to the broader public using bold images and limited text. The video was a 3-minute voice-over narration of their infographic. The four Nebraska-specific discussion topics were Nebraska’s niobium deposits, Livestock methane management, Nebraska’s carbon black production plant, and Nebraska’s climate change report. Students submitted drafts of their infographic and video, which the recitation TAs scored according to a set of criteria. The TAs then made suggestions how to improve. The recitation TAs also worked individually with students during their recitation meetings and office hours. The two most popular topics were livestock methane and climate change. In a survey of students about these projects, they agreed that science communication is important (79% said “strongly agree” or “agree”) and that they learned skills that will useful in future classes (81% said “strongly agree” or “agree”).
- Learn about engaging science communication and useful learning opportunities for students in an introductory science course for non-science majors.
- Understand how students learn how to consider the relationship between science facts and societal issues when they create science infographics.
- Learn about a scoring rubric that lets students know what they should include, and it helps the recitation TAs identify the missing items so they can make suggestions.
Taking the Discussion-Based Classroom Online (in Full and in Part)
Patrice McMahon, Ph.D. (UNL) | Tamy Burnett, Ph.D. (UNL)
During 2020, instructors and students got a crash course in how to (and how not to) teach and learn online. For the UNL Honors Program, where a key component of our curricular experience is small discussion-based seminars, the shift to fully or partially online classes presented a number of challenges as well as successes with integrating technological approaches into a tried-and-true approach to active student learning. Using examples from 4 discussion-based seminars taught July 2020-January 2021—three wholly online and two with simultaneous teaching to students in person and online, we will highlight effective activities and strategies for engaging students, ensuring maintenance of the benefits of discussion-based active learning approaches and making best use of technology. We will highlight specific adaptations of discussion activities in each format, challenges and opportunities within each setting, and offer recommendations for instructors who find themselves navigating similar formats in the future.
- Gain strategies for adapting effective discussion activities to a synchronous web-based course.
- Learn strategies for adapting effective discussion activities when some of the students are in person and some are simultaneously online.
- Understand creative and strategic approaches for making best use of technology platforms to enhance interactive learning activities.
Building a Community of Practice around Online Teaching
Angelika Stout (UNO) | Liz Wessling, Ph.D. (UNO) | Patti Meglich, Ph.D. (UNO)
This session will address the benefits of building a Community of Practice around online teaching while also providing attendees with a template and plan for creating such a group as a key takeaway. The UNO CBA Online Teachers Community of Practice formed pre-Covid as a community of online teachers in UNO’s College of Business Administration who wanted to connect with others also teaching online. As part of this presentation, we will share the makeup of our group, the benefits to having such a group and how attendees can start a similar initiative within their college. Our group consists of 9 full-time faculty members with a diverse blend of disciplinary areas, tenure-track and nontenure-track status, teachers of graduate and undergraduate levels and various experience levels teaching in online modalities. Beginning in spring 2020, this group has met monthly to discuss best practices, share experiences, hear from campus experts and support one another. This Community of Practice was uniquely positioned to serve as a source of support to participating members during the transition to 100% remote operations, while also supporting the transition at the college level through creation, curation and presentation of resources, tips and best practices for new online teachers.
- Receive a “blueprint” for starting a similar group, including a list of initial resources/topics that might be helpful for such a group to incorporate.
- Participate in a discussion of benefits and challenges of establishing a virtual Community of Practice during a time of remote operations.
- Understand opportunities for service that emerge from such a group (college-wide presentations, informal mentoring, curated resources to share, etc.).
Teaching the Tricky Classes - Lessons Learned from Zooming Chemistry Labs
Brevan Jorgenson (UNO) | Erin King-Grace, Ph.D. (UNO)
When the world transitioned to remote education overnight one of the greatest hurdles for us to overcome was how to best offer chemistry lab courses in a remote teaching and learning environment. This challenge was compounded by the fact that the chemistry labs required the use of specialized instruments, which could only be found in the classroom, that were needed to complete the learning objectives of the course. It was important for us to find remote learning solutions which continued to provide for the safety, accessibility and high-quality learning standards expected by the chemistry students and faculty. In this presentation, we will compare and contrast the methods of delivery that we found to be ineffective and successful. Additionally, we detail the special considerations that we needed to account for, and the specific technology used address them. Lastly, we will highlight our proposed recommendations for future enhancements and open it up to the group for thoughts, discussion and questions. Our goal is that an attendee should walk away from this presentation with a new perspective when approaching the challenges and concerns they face in trying to transition traditionally-on-campus-only courses to a high-quality online delivery.
- Understand the challenges that arrive when Zooming a non-lecture or lab class.
- Gain insight into the planning and intentionality needed for success.
- Discuss lessons learned and best practices.
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm CDT
Leading IT Like Hamilton, a pandemic reflection
Paige Francis, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (University of Tulsa)
Sponsored By: Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Proving we can not only get the job done but do it while being both inspirational and inspired, join us as we revisit the past year’s most notable teaching moments and lessons learned – as inspired by the Broadway hit, Hamilton. While our virtual abnormal may have entered on a wave of Tiger King binging in early 2020, we watched higher education soon settle in and develop a near-Herculean cadence, fueled by sheer determination, bolstered by dedication to service and embracing every possible moment of found joy. Covid-19 elevated the visibility and effectiveness of digital teaching and learning while showcasing the sheer power of women in IT and the importance of strong, collaborative, inclusive leadership. You definitely want to be in the room where this discussion happens!