Amidst the rise of coronavirus cases in the United States, St. Joseph’s College this month switched to a remote delivery of face-to-face courses for the remainder of the spring semester in order to aid in preventing spread of the virus.
Because remote instruction is unfamiliar territory for many faculty members at St. Joseph’s, the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) is offering remote training sessions about how to use Canvas, St. Joseph’s learning management system.
“Providing these training sessions teaches our faculty how to utilize the various tools Canvas has to offer, so they can provide the best learning opportunities for our students in a remote learning environment,” said Maureen Williams, executive director of technology education, who has been instrumental in getting the workshops off the ground.
“Some faculty have only utilized a subset of these tools to support face-to-face instruction,” Williams continued. “Now, it is imperative to see what other tools can aide them in remote instruction. Once they see the possibilities, they can begin to plan out the remainder of their class sessions.”
The training sessions kicked off on Wednesday, March 11. Topics include Canvas Quick Start, Canvas Assignments and Grading, Canvas Conferences and Kaltura, and Canvas Quizzes. There is also an option to Live Chat with Technology Education.
Faculty can join a Live Chat session by clicking on one of the designated times located in the Support tab of St. Joseph’s Carry On website. To join one of the scheduled remote training sessions for Canvas, faculty can visit Carry On’s Faculty Training section.
“I have a fabulous team in the technology education department — Diane Casalotti, Theresa Thurau, Breanna Famoso and Monica Yatsyla — who I worked with to devise the sessions and topics we would cover,” Williams said. “Above all, we had to decide what was most important for faculty to know. We could not offer sessions that were hours-long at this point. Faculty needed to get up and running quickly.”
As of 2 p.m. today, 185 faculty have attended the training sessions.
The department is in the process of creating tutorials, as well. They are working in collaboration with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), which has put out a call for faculty to create videos about the different tools they’ve been using for online teaching. These videos and even more resources can be found at Carry On’s Teaching tab.
Additionally, faculty members who aren’t sure how to take what they do in the classroom and turn it into an online assignment, or how to create a quiz with Canvas’ quiz tool, can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructional Designer Monica Yatsyla and Instructional Support Specialists Diane Casalotti and Theresa Thurau will be able to help.
As with any other support needed, all requests for assistance should be sent to email@example.com.
“We know that transitioning from face-to-face to remote instruction is challenging, but we want you to know that you are not alone,” said Michelle Papajohn, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “The Office of ITS remains ready and willing to support you in your efforts to Carry On Teaching. Please refer to the Carry On site for the most up-to-date information.”