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Empowering Teaching Excellence; Center for Innovative Design and Instruction
When classes moved to remote instruction in March of this year due to COVID-19, students had to adjust quickly to learning in a completely online format when most were accustomed to face-to-face instruction. Many faculty members have now had the chance to step into their students’ shoes in this respect.
Sixty faculty members representing each of USU’s colleges with faculty from both the Logan and statewide campuses attended eLearnX, a three-day deep dive into digital-age teaching, from May 18-20. This event is typically held in person, but due to the circumstances had to be moved to a virtual format.
Sponsored by the Office of Empowering Teaching Excellence (ETE) and the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI), eLearnX in its new format delivered the sessions to participants using a blended approach of live web broadcasts in the morning and asynchronous activities in the afternoon allowing faculty members to experience learning in the same format their students experienced during the Spring semester.
“Perhaps now more than ever our instructors know the importance of developing the skills and expertise needed to teach using technology to be able to reach our students wherever they are. We know that good teaching means being present for our students and removing barriers to student learning. Digital-age teaching requires us be intentional in both the design and facilitation of our courses to help students be successful,” said Travis Thurston, Assistant Director of ETE and facilitator of eLearnX.
Not only were participants more engaged and interested in learning about teaching using technology, attendance for the online version of the event doubled from the previous year’s in-person event.
“eLearnX reminded me that good teaching depends upon a good learning community. Through this three-day workshop, I developed the framework for two of my classes, employing the digital tools I’ll need to achieve my learning outcomes. More importantly, though, I connected with my learning community – the other instructors and instructional designers who can help me copy, transform, and combine pedagogical methods for the future,” said Assistant Professor of History, Julia Gossard.
Participants were able to engage as a community of learners to develop their digital teaching skills and leverage technology in ways that will meaningfully engage students in order to offer them the best learning experience possible regardless of the teaching format.
Due to the success of the online event, ETE and CIDI are offering a second eLearnX event from August 3-5. You can visit https://www.usu.edu/empowerteaching/engage/elearnx/ for more information and to register.