Book cover of "Online, Open, and Equitable Education: Lessons from Teaching and Learning during the Global Pandemic" Edited by Nancy Turner, Nick Baker, David J. Hornsby, Aline Germain-Rutherford, David Graham, and Brad Wuetherick

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This chapter describes the development and execution of a week-long intensive training program for faculty at the University of British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program aimed to equip faculty with effective online teaching practices. The training emphasized not just the acquisition of technical skills for online delivery but also the emotional and relational support necessary due to the isolation and anxiety many were experiencing. Through qualitative analysis of evaluation data, four key pillars of effective online teaching were identified: Technology-Rich, Task-Oriented, Experiential, and Relational support. These elements were found to enhance the faculty’s ability to conduct online classes effectively while also providing them the emotional backing needed in such a disruptive time.

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Discussion Questions

  • How did the relational support aspect of the training program help faculty cope with the psychological impacts of the pandemic?
  • In what ways did the program’s emphasis on experiential learning benefit the faculty in understanding the online teaching environment?
  • What challenges did the program encounter in transitioning faculty to online teaching, and how were these addressed?
  • Discuss the impact of the “Technology-Rich” approach on the faculty’s ability to manage online teaching platforms and tools.
  • How did task-oriented strategies proposed in the training program ensure that faculty could immediately apply what they learned to their teaching?
  • Reflect on the balance between technical skill development and emotional support in the training program. How important is this balance in faculty development initiatives?