Kent State supplies new virtual learning support services for faculty members

Anna Smith Reporter

Kent State organizations are providing support to faculty during the period of remote instruction.

With the cancellation of face-to-face classes due to the coronavirus, faculty have to rework their classes while also maintaining their own health and safety.

“We really have to think of it in terms of doing the best that you can under difficult circumstances,” said Valerie Kelly, associate vice president of the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

A website providing a guide on how to conduct remote instruction has been set up for faculty. Similar websites have been set up to support students and staff.

“Each of those websites were actually set up specifically to communicate about the coronavirus circumstances and the closure of the face-to-face classes,” she said. “We tried to keep it very simple.”

The faculty website contains FAQs and tips on how to run an online class.

“We work directly with faculty and help them if they have any questions or they need help figuring out what technology to use,” she said.

To provide these resources, collaboration with other organization such as Information Technology and Student Accessibility Services supplied further accommodations faculty and students may need.

“We work very closely with the Center for Teaching and Learning because they really led our efforts in webinars,” she said.

Webinars cover topics such as how to use Blackboard to assign tests and how to run a science lab remotely.

Emails are alerting faculty of upcoming webinar topics and reminding them of resources, said Jennifer Marcinkiewicz, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

The center is encouraging faculty to make contact so they can find the best person to assist them.

“I’m still doing individual consultations with faculty as are the other staff in the Center for Teaching and Learning,” she said.

Despite the unusual circumstances, Marcinkiewicz said she is proud of Kent State.

“I think that we have pulled together an enormous number of helpful resources on very, very short notice to make it as easy as possible for faculty and for students to make the transition,” she said. “We’re truly concerned about students and their ability to progress through their degree programs and be successful.”

Faculty that need additional assistance can email [email protected]

“The people that I’m in communication with, they are exhibiting tremendous compassion for colleagues and for students,” she said. “I think that’s just a really strong testament to who we are as Flashes.”

 

Contact Anna Smith at [email protected]