I received very little feedback, i.e., none, on my post from the other day titled I Don’t Think We Should Ever “Go Back To Normal”. I’d like to think this is not because people do not think this is an important conversation to be having, but more because most people are just plain overwhelmed with the adjustments required of them amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In any event, if you did read my last post, you may be thinking, “So how does it work?


Well…that depends. Remember, I told you in a previous post I don’t have all the answers! I do have thoughts though, and I will share them below. Please note, these thoughts are based on my particular institution and may not be entirely applicable to every institution of higher education.

In a perfect world, faculty members would fulfill one or more of the roles for a set of courses each semester. For example, a faculty member might serve as the Internal Course Auditor for all the courses they are assigned to for that specific semester. This would mean that they may work closely with the LED and EIC for courses that could be within their department or in another department to maintain all the student data and accountability measures the courses require. However, the model does provide the opportunity for faculty to serve in multiple roles each semester. For example, a faculty member may serve as a CAE for a course within their department and area of expertise that is going through redesign. At the same time, that faculty member may be serving as an EIC for another course in their department while acting as the ICA in several other courses, either inside or outside their department. We talk a lot about interdisciplinary collaborations, their importance and how we might build more, well, here’s an opportunity to move in that direction.

While the perfect world scenario is needed for further clarification and explanation, we must be grounded in the reality of the day. My thinking in this area begins with an understanding that there are MANY courses to be converted and acknowledging we can’t get them all done by this fall. This means we must start by identifying courses that can be adequately utilized in a manner that is very similar to a traditional course. For example, lecture-based courses with primarily reading and writing assignments can easily be delivered online in a similar manner. These become the ZOOM group. Perhaps there is some modification to their course schedule, but by and large, they stay put and are earmarked for later redesign.

One set of courses that should be at the top of the redesign list are CORE courses. Because these courses are (a) required courses and (b) students in all majors enroll in them, they must be some of the first courses to be redesigned. A wide array of faculty members teach these courses, so it will be critical to look at the learning objectives for each course and then determine the essential CAE that will be needed for the redesign process. My initial thinking is that it can not be nearly all the faculty that are currently teaching these courses, but I am new here and could be wrong. Consideration to temporarily suspending some of these offerings and streamlining the courses that students may use to fulfill their integrative core requirements may also ease the immediacy to redesign so many courses over the summer. We may consider identifying specific integrative core courses that could run online in the fall semester as much larger online offerings. These courses may be assigned multiple EICs and ICAs to help manage the larger number of students. It also frees up faculty to serve as CAEs or LEDs in the redesign of course that require more immediate attention.

Next, we need to look at courses with a clinical or lab requirement. We understand that hands-on learning is extremely challenging to deliver online, however it can be done. The CAE and LED are critical to the redesign and development of these courses. Can video, simulations and EIC delivered synchronous web meetings be used to accomplish some of what students would normally experience in the field or lab? Since these are usually higher level course offerings, they are critical to student matriculation (and in some cases certification/licensure) and have to be addressed immediately. Finding a meaningful redesign that meets the course learning objectives will be challenging and will be time consuming, that’s why these courses must take priority.

That’s where I’m at today. That’s as far as I’ve made it. There’s much more to do, I know that. I also know it can’t be accomplished alone, so I would love to hear other people’s thoughts and ideas. I wish this conversation was going on between faculty and administration at my institution and beyond; not just in my head. That’s why I am sharing here. To get the thoughts out now in order to serve students better in the future. Hang in there everyone!