COVID-19 forces UCF to provide workshops for teachers as they transition into online teaching

COVID-19 has caused schools everywhere to transition to online based learning

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To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, all Florida public colleges including the University of Central Florida will continue educating students online.

While the classes are already posted for students to use, some faculty may need additional support but can't meet up in large groups on campus for workshops. That's why workshops were scheduled to be held online to help support faculty members transitioning to online courses.

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The workshops are organized by UCF's Division of Distributed Learning.

The team of web developers and professional online course instructors started with the basics: demonstrating key teaching tools like posting assignments, creating tests and conducting lectures and class discussions.

Vice Provost for Digital Learning, Tom Cavanagh, is heading the team and says there have been some challenges converting certain courses with lab work to an online platform.

“That’s a separate challenge, everyone is a little bit different whether it’s an engineering lab or biology lab or digital arts. We’re working with faculty to determine the requirements for each course. In some cases you’ll be surprised what can be done virtually. In some cases it will be something students will do at home with mail-order kitchen labs that you can work on, and every situation will be different.,” said Cavanagh.

More than 2,600 face-to-face courses have now transitioned to online instruction. UCF says many teachers and students already have experience with online instruction. Eighty-five percent of students were already enrolled in an online course.

"We do have a team of 150 people working nights and weekends, trying to support faculty. It's been remarkable, everybody pulling in the same direction."

There will multiple sessions of workshops scheduled for the coming weeks to help prepare and support faculty members who don’t normally teach online. UFC has developed a website Keep Teaching, for faculty, as well as a student resource page, Keep Learning, to provide ongoing instruction.

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