Dear Colleagues:

I hope this finds you well, and that you’ve had a chance both to catch your breath and do something nice for yourself and/or to attend some of this week’s Virtual Instruction Academy. These events are ongoing, and very informative, so if you have the time to attend, either virtually, or in person, please do.

In terms of resources for today, I first want to offer this essay from Inside Higher Ed about shifting to remote instruction. While bits and pieces of it are of more or less value, I found the bullet points beginning with and continuing from “Don’t Go It Alone 1” to be valuable, if not a bit provocative.

Next, as you shift to thinking about actually redesigning the remaining weeks of your course, here’s an excellent resource passed along by Alison Bell of Sociology and Anthropology. The power of this approach is that it keeps things focused and simple: what do you want to achieve? What will you use to achieve it? How might you use students as partners? If you find yourself trying to figure out a way to get some traction, here’s an excellent place to begin.

Still along the lines of course (re)design, what follows is a comprehensive, step-by-step, set of resources developed by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Normally a for-profit educational organization, ACUE has made their resources available to professors across the country during the current crisis.

I will admit that I hesitate putting this information in front of folks; we can only cope with so much information, and at times like this, we’re all already coping with a lot — and there’s a ton of material here.

That said, ACUE draws from some of the best thinkers in the field (Michael Wesch, who’s featured in some of the early videos, was a 2008 US Professor of the year, and consistently manages to walk that line between professionalism and humanism) and their materials can often be very helpful.

So, if you’re up for it, feel free to dive in here, and watch the videos, browse the materials, download what looks useful.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just return to this page and use the links below to approach things as needed. I’ve separated the materials by stages in the revision process, so it’s easy enough to take things one at a time.

Finally, just because a little humor never hurts, here is a link to a post wherein the first lines of famous novels have been rewritten for the age of social distancing. Some of the novels are pretty obscure, even for this English Prof, but some of the rewrites are laugh out loud funny.

Please feel free to share this with other colleagues (my e-mail list is incomplete), and please feel free to let me know if there are topics you’d like to see covered in future mailings. Also, if you have something funny to share, please pass that along as well; lord knows we need all the funny we can get.

And please, dear colleagues, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, both physically and mentally. I feel honored to be a part of this extended family, and I know we’ll get through this in shining form.

Paul Hanstedt
Director of the Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (CARPE)

ACUE materials

Introducing the course — and yourself as an online entity.

Organizing your course: 

Online discussions: 

Effective Micro-lectures

Engaging Students in lectures and readings: