The Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) will recognize two faculty members in the Department of Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and one staff member in the College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS) during its 2021 Wall of COOL virtual ceremony on Friday, April 23 at 2 p.m.
The Wall of COOL is an eLearning award that recognizes courses that effectively use technology to support student learning.
Last year when the coronavirus pandemic forced classrooms into a remote setting, university faculty were challenged with rethinking how students will complete their practicum coursework, which is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in the classroom before entering the workforce.
Assistant Professors Giselle Navarro-Cruz and Eden Haywood-Bird, along with CEIS Librarian Sally Romero, worked together to develop an online storytelling platform for ECS students to complete their practicum work.
“As a department, we knew it was important to have our students continue their practicum to stay on track towards graduation,” said Navarro-Cruz. “When discussing our options with CEIS Librarian Sally Romero, she offered to organize an online platform for our students to complete their practicum work by conducting live online storytimes.”
During last summer, ECS students presented stories online to parents and their children. Parents were able to access the live programming by logging on to Zoom through the University Library website. According to ECS faculty, the Children’s Storytime webpage received a total of 1,687 visits.
“This team was selected for the Wall of COOL because their course exemplified a solution to one of the most vexing problems of remote teaching: turning a fully in-person, activity-based class into a meaningful remote course,” said Victoria Bhavsar, CAFE director. “The review committee loved the solution of live children’s storytimes via Zoom. We were also impressed by the response data that the team provided detailing the number of views the storytimes received and some qualitative ECS student data as well.”
During next month’s recognition event, short videos and talks will be led by the 2021 Wall of COOL faculty: RoseAnn A’Jontue, Ekaterina Chernobai, Giselle Navarro-Cruz, Eden Haywood-Bird, Sally Romero and Olga Griswold.
“Congratulations to all involved in organizing the online storytelling platform,” said CEIS Interim Dean Iris S. Levine. “It’s wonderful to see our faculty and staff recognized at this level.”
To register for the virtual event, please visit https://cpp.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpcu2rqTkjH9S1G8LP9lb5LSaf0tGXfjL0.