Spring 2020 is a semester to be remembered. As we approach the close of the semester, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate our faculty at CSUCI. In my role as AVP for Innovation and Faculty Development, overseeing Teaching & Learning Innovations and Faculty Development, I have had the honor to work closely with faculty through our rapid transition to virtual instruction. It has been an honor to see the dedication and commitment to our students. In order to better understand the experience of teaching virtually during a global pandemic and and to be responsive in our support of faculty, we launched a survey during the 4th week of virtual instruction.
What we learned was heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Faculty and students alike are struggling to cope with this crisis. Emotions are up and down, routines are broken and personal crises are prevalent. Despite all this, our survey demonstrated that CSUCI faculty care deeply about their students’ well-being and learning. During this transition, they have found ways to show up, be present, and provide structure for learning to happen. Yes, it looked different, but classes moved forward. Faculty reported adapting course content, learning new digital tools, and finding a variety of ways to communicate with students. I am happy to report that many faculty were satisfied with the pedagogical and technical support provided through the transition.
We also learned that there are common points of struggle. Faculty shared concerns about knowing if students are learning in this new environment and if they were able to cover the content as intend. Faculty at CSUCI joined faculty across the country struggling to balance their personal life while working and teaching at home. The faculty that responded to the survey have had unexpected experiences as well. Interestingly, some faculty were surprised to hear so many student voices as well as voices that they had not heard in their physical classroom, while others were disappointed by a decrease in student participation.
Based on the responses from this survey, TLi and Faculty Development have launched a Resilient Teaching campaign in which faculty share ideas with faculty about virtual teaching.
We have summarized the findings in a short data-brief if you are interested in learning more. As we move forward into a new kind of normal, I look forward to continuing to work with this dedicated community of educators and scholars.