The COVID-19 pandemic put faculty to the test, giving professors and instructors just a few days mid-semester to convert their courses to a remote/virtual instruction format.
Virtual instruction will continue in the fall, so this summer, Cal Poly Pomona is inviting all faculty and instructors to participate in summer professional development for quality remote teaching. The aim is to give faculty an opportunity to design remote courses that will enhance the learning experience and increase engagement for students. The program will feature two six-week sessions from June 15 to July 31 and July 6 to Aug. 14.
“I really hope it gives them a better experience teaching their courses,” said Victoria Bhavsar, director of the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE). “Faculty teach because they love to teach. It is no fun to teach if you don’t have good strategies and can’t keep students motivated. We hope faculty gain skills and strategies that will help them enjoy fall semester more.”
The CAFE team has created the institute’s framework and provided a lot of the content, but the aim is to have a peer-led institute, Bhavsar said. Faculty experienced in digital instruction and online teaching have been recruited to facilitate, with cohorts of 40 set up by discipline. Participants will build out the first two modules or weeks of their fall courses, draft ideas for activities, and learn to self-assess their classes with rubrics. Equity-minded and inclusive teaching strategies are emphasized.
Each faculty member on the Fall schedule received a personal invitation to participate. More than 900 faculty have signed up, with about 200 more faculty doing an alternative professional development experience.
Participants will receive a stipend or professional development funds to support their completion of the program. Funds received through the federal CARES Act will help support the summer experience.
Visit the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence website for more information.