Update to Faculty re: Remote teaching and learning
Thursday, March 11, 2020
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
In the face of challenges caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are working diligently to support you in the effort to continue providing NIU students with the best possible educational experience.
The one-week extension of Spring Break provides us with a collective moment to catch our breath. However, during this time, faculty members will need to be productive and creative as they redesign delivery of their course materials. As you make plans, I want to let you know about technical training and support that is available for you now or rapidly under development. I also ask for your patience as we move forward during this disruption.
To support your efforts, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center has created a guide to help you quickly make the shift to teaching and learning that is not face-to-face. These shifts can occur for various reasons, but the information is immediately important as we address COVID-19.
The guide can be found on this Keep Teaching website, which will become an important hub of information. The site highlights simple and straightforward practices designed for implementation with limited technology. You’ll find information on:
• How to get started.
• Strategies that consider your teaching style and the learning style of your students.
• Examples of how faculty might respond under different scenarios.
• Technology resources that support remote teaching and learning on short notice.
• Frequently asked questions.
• Campus resources for getting help.
Working closely with other units on campus, NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center also is developing a drop-in location where you can get hands-on help—and the center will offer the same type of one-on-one support virtually. Additionally, on-campus and online workshops for faculty will address such topics as delivering live online lectures and providing accommodations and flexibility to your students.
As our plans solidify, workshop schedules and other supportive information will be posted to the Keep Teaching website. If you have further questions or concerns regarding instruction, you can call the center at (815) 753-0595.
Finally, I know this is a challenge for all of us, and it won’t be easy. However, while I’ve been at NIU for less than a year, I’ve learned a great deal about this institution. During its 125-year history, NIU has overcome disruptions and challenges time and time again. That is a direct reflection on our community’s can-do spirit and on our caring, knowledgeable and inspirational faculty—of the past and certainly today. As we work through this situation, I know that all of you will exhibit kindness, generosity and patience with each other and with your students.
Executive Vice President and Provost