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Faculty Development & Resources

Recommendations for Fall 2020

To help faculty prepare for fall 2020, including the possibility that the university may have to move to online instruction for a period of time during the semester, the following recommendations have been included in the UNG Return to Campus plan

  • In order to meet the instructional standards of seat time for accreditation due to the shortened term, and to insure that we are prepared to pivot to online instruction if that becomes necessary again, all courses must have a D2L component. This component must include the syllabus, the gradebook, a calendar or list of assignments, and a content module. This content module could contain a discussion board, a reading or video, a self-quiz, something similar, or all of the above. We have added a module on Academic Integrity to the D2L Resources that is available to everyone. It has two quizzes, and the students receive a certificate of completion that they could upload to demonstrate completion. This module could be utilized to fulfill the content requirement. Review the Learning Objectives: Pocket Guide to Academic Integrity.new window
  • Faculty should acquire training in the instructional design, D2L, FLOC, hybrid instruction, accessibility and accommodations for compliance.
  • Faculty should Quality Matters certify all appropriate courses.
  • Faculty should devise plans to focus on student engagement and parallel process for non-traditional courses such as lab courses.
  • Faculty should develop course pedagogy strategies for dealing with myths of online courses, creating effective discussions, stimulating engagements, promoting best practices in assessment and protecting from academic dishonesty, crafting testing strategies, supporting part-time faculty, developing transitional approaches, and promoting LEAP frameworks.
  • Faculty should become more aware of D2L tools such as Collaborate, statistics for students per course activity, Assignment Grader and Pulse apps, and early alert.

Professional Development

Many other resources are available to faculty for professional development such as:

  • DETI is offering workshops surrounding remote topics. Register for a remote topics workshop today.
    • Quality Matters
    • eLearning
    • Using Kaltura
    • Developing and building online courses
    • Planning and developing hybrid courses
    • BB Collaborate, and Respondus products
  • UNG’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Leadership (CTLL) will present remote faculty development offerings to faculty. Topics include:
    • Supporting Students in the Remote Environment
    • Supporting Adjunct Faculty During Covid
    • Communicating in the Time of COVID-19.
  • DETI and CTLL will continue to provide tenure and promotion workshops during the semester. Secure your place in a tenure and promotion workshop today.
  • CTLL will continue to provide all fall semester faculty development offerings, and will provide them in either face-to-face or remote format, depending upon circumstances. A full list of planned offerings is available on the CTLL calendar.
  • ISETL (International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning) is providing a workshop series “Focusing on Empathy for Students as we Transition to Online Teaching." More information about the ISETL workshop series can be found on their website.

Resources

How You Can Help Your Students

Keep in mind that teaching during times of significant disruption is something many of us are not completely prepared for and the learning environment will not be ideal. Instead of aiming for perfection:

  • Keep it simple
  • Focus on meeting your essential learning outcomes
  • Consider realistic goals
  • Rely on tools that are familiar to you and your students.
  • Be flexible with assignments and deadlines
  • Remember that nobody signed up for this
  • Minimize use of video or other activities that require a lot of bandwidth; keep technology mobile-friendly.
  • Keep instruction asynchronous.
  • Minimize or eliminate proctored activities. If necessary, try to use Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor (login required), rather than Proctor U.
    • Please note - The Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser do not work on mobile technologies and Chromebooks. We are concerned about the ability of Proctor U to meet the demand across the nation, and they charge students a fee. With Respondus, there is no charge. Also, note the requirement for a proctored activity in UNG Online and eCore courses has been waived for this semester, and there is no requirement for proctoring for courses that were transitioned to remote delivery.
  • Temper your expectations.
    • Be flexible with due dates and group project requirements, recognizing that they may have access issues and are likely dealing with additional family stresses and responsibilities at home, just as many of you are.
  • You are now the key touchpoint for your students. Encourage them to have a growth mindset, to give themselves a little time to adjust to the new environment, and to practice self-care.
    • Consider reaching out for a general wellness check. We are all in this together.
Keeping Your Students Engaged

Your students need just as much (if not more) support in a remote learning environment as they do face-to-face. The key is consistency and variety in their mode of communication.

  • Start each discussion with clear expectations and detailed assignment explanations. This is the most important aspect of remote instruction.
  • It is important to let the students do most of the thinking and “talking” during the discussions, but it is critical for a professor to chime in, ask probing questions, and redirect sidetracks during each discussion.
  • Communicate with students in a variety of other ways:
    • Open question/answer forum in D2L
    • Check-in or “How-are-you-doing” surveys (anonymous or not)
    • An alternative to calling students is setting up an open room in D2L’s Blackboard Collaborate for you and the students to interact instead of phone calls 

For more help with D2L, please visit the DETI Resources for Teaching Remotely page (login required).

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Student Self-support and Collaboration

Students frequently rely on each other for support, collaboration, and question-answering, so professors should encourage that in an online environment as well using one or more of the following options:

  • Use Microsoft 365 for live document collaboration.
  • Set up student chat rooms in D2L's Blackboard Collaborate to interact real-time in small groups. 

For more help with D2L's Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the DETI Resources for Teaching Remotely page (login required).

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Online Etiquette or "Netiquette" for Students

Remind students about using online etiquette or “netiquette”. 

All UNG students are expected to demonstrate professionalism in all course activities. This includes the following:

  • Professional appearance os required for all school-based assignments
  • Respect for university policies, procedures and personnel
  • Timely submission of materials and completion of all assignments
  • Display respect for others (instructors and peers) when teaching/speaking
  • Arrive to class on time and staying for the full time
  • Maintain a positive and cooperative attitude
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn
  • Demonstrate honesty

Additionally, students are expected to maintain appropriate online etiquette throughout in your emails, assignments, small group discussions, and online discussion postings. This includes not typing in all caps, using proper grammar/mechanics, and maintaining politically correct verbiage. In online small group discussions, students are expected to attend each session, come prepared having done all the readings/assignments, and participate throughout the entire session.

If students should discover that a group member is not fulfilling his or her roles described above, the student should contact the course instructor. Such information will affect the student's attendance/professionalism grade in addition to the individual session grades. 

Here are some additional guidelines for your students - Ten Netiquette Guidelines Online Students Need to Know

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Inclusivity, Diversity, and Accessibility in Remote Instruction

The UNG Office of Diversity & Inclusion fosters a climate where equity and equality are valued and supported. As you move your courses online, it is important to foster inclusion and diversity through your communication, assessment, and delivery of content.

Digital Equity

Be aware that not all students will have ready access to reliable Wi-Fi and digital resources. It is important to remember that students did not sign up for an online course and they have limited access to university resources.

  • Go low-tech and mobile-friendly
  • Avoid videos, which require lots of bandwidth and continuous connectivity.
  • Consider assignments that can be done offline
  • Teach asynchronously as much as possible
  • Talk to your students about digital resources and challenges

Student Disabilities and Accessibility

It is important to consider the accessibility of the material for all students. Accessible content is more than supporting students with disabilities. All learners can benefit from making your course material (media, documents, or broadcasts) accessible.

Virtual Office Hours
Professors can hold “Virtual Office Hours” through D2L’s Blackboard Collaborate. Similar to an in-person option, students may or may not attend the virtual office hours. Therefore, after you enter your “room” for office hours do the following so you can keep working on other things on your laptop:
  • Set your microphone to “mute” and leave a note in the chat
    • E.g., "Hi, thanks for stopping by! I'm here and on mute. If i step away for a moment, just hang out for a few and I'll be right back"

For more help with D2L's Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the DETI Resources for Teaching Remotely page (login required).

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Assessment Techniques for Remote Instruction

Assessing students from afar can lead to a lot of concerns: How do I maintain the same quality as in-person assessments? How do I prevent plagiarism? What do I do about the projects? Do I have to use one of those complicated online rubrics?

Fortunately, those concerns are pretty easy to address in a relatively low-tech fashion if you think through the issues and set up the assignments for remote instruction.

DETI's Resources for Teaching Remotely (login required) will help you set up your discussion posts. However, before you do so, there are a number of important things you need to think about.

  • Make sure the discussion question(s) is/are open-ended
  • How in-depth are you expecting their online posts to be? Be very specific (number of words, content, citations, etc.)
  • Make sure your expectations are clear (when do they post, when do they reply, how many replies)
    • E.g., - "Each week a new session assignment will be post by Thursday morning. Beaching session will include individual readings/assignments, small group discussions, and whole group summary discussions. After completing all the individual assignments for a session, you will meet with your small group in your designated Blackboard Collaborate to discuss the questions that instructor listed for the session. You can earn up to 10 points per session with 5 points for participating in the small sessions and 5 points going to your responses to the whole group discussion summary postings. You are expected to attend every session that your small group meets. If you do not attend that session, you will not receive the 5 points designated for the small group participation for that week."
  • Avoid the “Agreement Bandwagon” in student replies.
  • Give points for statements that push the conversation along such as:
    • building a focused discussion around the content and/or pedagogy
    • asking a new related question
    • providing links or attachments to helpful/related resources
    • making an oppositional but polite statement supported by personal experience and relate research

Low Tech Grading Rubrics

Low tech discussion grading rubrics help boost transparency, improve grading consistency, speed up the grading process, and improve online discussion quality. However, you do not have to use the D2L rubric function to accomplish this.

An example of a low tech rubric created by April Nelms and C.Lindsay Linsky

  • Save different grade versions of the pre-filled-out rubrics to your computer. To grade a discussion, open up all of the versions, read the posts, copy (Command or Control c) and paste (Command or Control v) the correct pre-filled-out rubric into the feedback box, and personalize the comments.

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

Online Projects & Presentation Tips

Online projects can be very effective learning experiences. The challenge is that students cannot “come up to you after class” to clarify their understanding. To cut down on the number of emails you receive for clarification, create a project handout or explanation explaining:

  • Purpose of the assignment (what you hope they will learn)
  • How this fits into their overall program
  • Precise expectations of what you want to receive
  • Timeline of things students will need to do
  • How the students will be graded
  • Examples of previous students’ work (if possible)

Grading Online Projects and Presentations

  • Create a rubric with clear criteria that gets to the heart of what you want them to learn (this is key).
  • After that, the same “low-tech” grading examples above will work for projects as well.
  • A portion of an online project rubric example (PDF)

Online Student Presentations

We want our students to learn from each other in student presentations. However, in an online setting, that can quickly become “death-by-power-point” with little depth, so you will need to think ahead.

  • First, create a clear and specific rubric.
  • After that, give students choices to show what they know so that they can select the media that they feel most comfortable with such as:
    • YouTube Video
    • Power point with audio recordings of students’ speaking
    • Regular power point with written examples
    • Cell phone video
    • Live Call presentation with the professor (if available).
  • Remind students to use “netiquette” and to address confidentiality concerns.
  • Make sure students know that their score will be counted off if the product is not viewable, so they should test the link on multiple devices.

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

How Should I Handle Tests and Final Exams?
Tests
  • Cheating is a concern in a distance environment.
  • Refer to DETI for proctoring options.
  • You can also craft timed open-book assessments that do not have easy answers where students must apply their knowledge.
Final Exams
  • As always, exams should only be given during the final exam week. Exam times are included in our calculation for SACSCOC instructional hours.
  • Minimize proctored activities to include final exams and consider using Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor as an alternative to ProctorU if you must.
  • Consider using timed, but asynchronous testing with an extended open window for testing. This provides the greatest flexibility for our students who may be juggling a number of new demands on their time.
  • If synchronous testing is deemed necessary, you must schedule it during your regularly scheduled exam time.  Any departure from this schedule may cause conflicts with other exams.
Library Resources for Faculty

Research Consultations

Research consultations for students, staff, and faculty are being delivered remotely (e.g. Zoom, Teams, Skype, Blackboard Collaborate.) Please schedule your appointment with 48 business hours advance notice from the time of your request in order to allow for adequate preparation. 

Instruction

All library instruction this fall will be provided virtually. We’ll work with you to create instructional materials to fit your students’ needs! Our preferred mode of instruction delivery is asynchronously via D2L. Options include: (1) video tutorials/recorded library instruction and (2) library-created D2L modules that can be uploaded into your course shell(s). To request instruction, you can use the instruction request form , and a librarian will be in touch to discuss your students’ needs. Please try to request instruction at least two weeks in advance so that we have time speak with you and to prepare materials. 

Class Resources

Faculty will have virtual access to the same resources and support that are offered on campus. In D2L we have the ability to link to eBooks, subject guides , databases, and videos covering introductory and advanced research skills, peer review, in-depth looks at specific databases, and other information literacy topics. Stay up to date with library hours and services thorough the Operations Updates by Department page or you can Ask a Librarian.

Library Databases with Video Content to Supplement your Courses

  • Academic Video Online - has a ton of content including full episodes of PBS's NOVA & Sony's Picture ClassicsYou can browse by channel to see if anything looks relevant to your coursework.
    • To access the free content in Academic Video Online, follow the link and choose "University of North Georgia" as your institution.
    • You will be redirected to the DUO SSO page to login to your university account.
    • Once verified you will be redirected to the Academic Video Online catalog with full access to the content.
  • Films on Demand - they've added a ton of good new content.
  • More video/music databases you can look through too.

 

Conducting Research and Writing in the Remote Environment
  • Utilize university and system resources
  • Set regular times to conduct research and writing
  • Shorter, more frequent writing sessions over time are more effective than one protracted session
  • Write a little every day
  • Use an accountability partner
  • Leverage mentoring networks
  • Use this time to ask yourself the big questions. Try answering these questions in writing.
    • Why is this research question important and for whom?
    • Why does this research question matter now?
    • Why am I equipped or positioned to address this question?
    • What do I want my readers to do with my results?

This information was compiled by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). If you have questions and concerns, contact CTLL by email at ctll@ung.edu.

UNG Leads Virtually

On August 10, 2020, UNG will virtually host the second annual UNG LEADS Day (Learning, Engagement, Achievement, Development, Service) as a celebration of the upcoming academic year.

This year we are placing a special emphasis on developing training to help ingrain COVID-19 health and safety practices on campus.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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