The events of the last few weeks have certainly made it clear to all of us that lives, and livelihoods are fragile. It’s been fantastic to see everyone pull together to support our students and each other, particularly in relation to the move online. Much has been done but of course there is much still to do.
Supporting online learning…and assessment
As you know all 202030 subjects, including those taught at our partners, will be taught online from Tuesday 14th April 2020. A minimum standard for online delivery of an on-campus subject was identified to help in this transition and a recent ‘health check’ of all on-campus subjects against those standards was undertaken. I’ve been working with the other Faculty Sub-Deans L&T and with the Division of Learning & Teaching (DLT) to assemble key resources and professional learning opportunities to assist in moving online.
- you can find those key resources and updates here which includes a comprehensive PD calendar and recordings of previous sessions. Apologies for also bombarding your calendar with invites but it’s proven to be an effective way of letting you know when things are on and the attendance (especially at Zoom sessions) has been huge.
- speaking of Zoom, just before the COVID-19 outbreak, the university made the decision to switch our online meeting platform to Zoom. The rollout has been fast-tracked to provide extra capacity for online meetings (72,000 concurrent licences v 1,200 Adobe licences!). Both platforms are being supported at this stage but I recommend you choose one to avoid confusing students. Last week we ran intro sessions on Zoom, this week the focus turns to slightly more advanced/special features sessions – make sure you check the calendar and come along.
- the next big challenge is end of session exams. We issued a brief 2-page paper, as part of the PVC update #3, that provided some initial guidance accompanied by a decision tree- more guidance on alternate assessment is coming soon. The paper strongly recommended moving as many traditional paper-based exams as possible to an appropriate and legitimate alternative. To manage the load on i2 Test Centre and EASTS, as well as student clashes, even non-invigilated online exams must be scheduled by the Division of Student Administration. Make sure you work with your Head of School on your solution before DSA is contacted.
Other news in brief
- We’ll need to make a call in the next month or so about whether the 2020 BJBS L&T Symposium scheduled for Bathurst on 3-4 September goes ahead in its current form. If we’re unable to hold it face to face, we’ll be going online so please continue to save the dates and consider making a contribution to the 2020 UNSymposium, which will have a particular focus on the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoTL).
- Speaking of SoTL, for Study Centre academic staff, and Charles Sturt staff who convene Study Centre subjects, there is a requirement to evidence scholarship, including a reflection on its impact on teaching practice. As an interim measure, Google Forms will be used to record evidence of scholarship supported by a DOMS contribution form that will enable non-web-based artefacts (such as PDF files, Word documents, Powerpoint slides) to be accessed from the Google Form. Access to the form, instructions for completing it, and resources to support reflection (including exemplars and a how-to video) has been provided via the Faculty’s pages on the Learning and Teaching wiki. Why not reflect on the forced move online?