Iowa State University

Iowa State faculty get creative as courses move online for remainder of spring semester

25-Mar-2020 12:05 PM EDT, by Iowa State University

Newswise — AMES, Iowa — Steve Butler’s “flailing arms,” as he calls them, are now contained within the four borders of his YouTube videos.

This week marks the beginning of virtual instruction at Iowa State University for the remainder of the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Butler, associate professor and Barbara J. Janson Professor of mathematics, has moved his coursework online – as have more than 6,000 other courses at Iowa State.

As of Monday night, 100% of all online learning-appropriate courses had been migrated online through Canvas, video conferencing and other measures, said Sara Marcketti, director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).

While the situations are different, Marcketti is thankful that CELT had a foundation of resources and plans for online instruction in January 2019, when a polar vortex forced the cancellation of ISU classes for three days.

In the past two weeks, a CELT Response Team was established. Instructional designers across campus volunteered to staff a CELT call center to help faculty with their move online. Instructors and students can also call Canvas support teams 24/7 with questions about the online instruction platform.

“There is always someone to help you,” Marcketti said.

Teaching online: Keep it simple

In spring 2017, one of Butler’s graduate students was one class away from graduating when she got a job in Minnesota. Butler sprang to action, recording lectures that helped her finish her degree remotely.

What started as a one-time accommodation for a student turned into a teaching practice he’s continued ever since. As of today, Butler has uploaded more than 400 videos to his YouTube channel: lectures, problem examples, exam reviews and more. To kick off the rest of spring 2020 online, he posted a video encouraging his students to stay in touch.

“It definitely makes you teach in a different way,” Butler said. “In class, I’m much more energetic, moving around, being very dramatic, flailing my arms about wildly. When I’m recording my lectures, I know I have to be a bit more subdued. I can’t really make my arm motions translate.”

While the shift online isn’t without stumbling blocks, Butler says the key is to keep it simple and not try to reinvent an entire course. Butler expects he’ll record about eight hours of course material a week for the rest of this semester.

His relatively smooth migration online is also thanks to work the mathematics department did a few years ago, when the department coordinated its calculus classes so that they progress and function as one large cohesive class during the semester. Because of this, they didn’t have to move a dozen variations of calculus classes online this week; they essentially only had to move one.

“For the last two years I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into making calculus function very smoothly and efficiently and, well, it paid off,” he said.

The migration online is more difficult for other subjects, such as art and design.

Maintaining a sense of community 

When Raluca Iancu, assistant professor of art and visual culture, was advised to come up with a contingency plan in the event that Iowa State would move classes online, she started brainstorming. Her printmaking class this spring focuses on intaglio printmaking, a process that requires a great deal of pressure that cannot be applied by hand.

She turned to the Open Press Project, which provides open-source plans to anyone with a 3D printer to make their own small printing press.

Iancu headed to the College of Design’s Output Center with Joe Bovenmyer, studio support coordinator; and Jeremy Thurlby, model shop manager, to 3D-print small printing presses for each of her students. Before they left for spring break and online instruction, Iancu handed out the small presses and mailed one to a student who had already left the state.

This week, she’s using Canvas and video conferencing to stay in touch with her students, asking them to share photos of their work and at-home studio space to not only teach and advise, but to retain a sense of camaraderie.

“With printmaking in particular, because the students are all using the same equipment in the studio, they have a unique sense of community, much like in ceramics,” she said. “There’s a tightknit studio culture that, for them to be separated all of a sudden, it’s quite a different environment. I’ve been thinking about how to re-create some of those elements online and how to maintain our sense of community. It is particularly difficult to adapt hands-on experiential studio courses into online delivery models.”

Marcketti recognizes that online instruction cannot fully replicate an in-person learning environment, but she has been encouraged by the amount of creativity, innovation and collaboration that ISU faculty have demonstrated during this quick transition.

“Departments have been incredible sharing resources online, CyBoxes filled with teaching ideas,” Marcketti said. “It’s a nice unintended consequence that people are really talking about teaching and how to do it effectively.”




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2036
Released: 1-Jun-2020 7:20 PM EDT
New test method can offer safer dosages of hydroxychloroquine
Uppsala University

Researchers at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital have developed a new method to measure levels of the medication hydroxychloroquine in patients with the rheumatic disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Newswise: Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19
1-Jun-2020 1:30 PM EDT
Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19
McMaster University

he systematic review was conducted by a large, international collaborative of researchers, front-line and specialist clinicians, epidemiologists, patients, public health and health policy experts of published and unpublished literature in any language.

Newswise: Researchers Map SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Cells of Nasal Cavity, Bronchia, Lungs
Released: 1-Jun-2020 4:55 PM EDT
Researchers Map SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Cells of Nasal Cavity, Bronchia, Lungs
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers show how SARS-CoV-2 infects the nasal cavity to a great degree, and progressively less so lower down the respiratory tract, suggesting the virus tends to become firmly established first in the nasal cavity, but can be aspirated into the lungs to cause serious disease.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 2-Jun-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 1-Jun-2020 4:55 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 2-Jun-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: $1M Gift Speeds COVID-19 Testing and Tracking at UC San Diego
Released: 1-Jun-2020 4:15 PM EDT
$1M Gift Speeds COVID-19 Testing and Tracking at UC San Diego
University of California San Diego

A $1M gift from the John and Mary Tu Foundation is accelerating the efforts of UC San Diego translational research virologist Davey Smith to increase the number of people tested for COVID-19, as well as develop new ways to track and treat the virus. Smith and his team are studying how the disease spreads to better inform contact tracing, as well as leading clinical trials to test new drugs for treatment of COVID-19.

Newswise: Campus gardens growing to help out during pandemic
Released: 1-Jun-2020 3:45 PM EDT
Campus gardens growing to help out during pandemic
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Because the campus is closed, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has turned its garden plots -- normally rented out to students, faculty and staff -- into a resource for fresh produce for the university food pantry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Newswise: In A COVID-19 World Lies Another Threat to the Health of Our Children
Released: 1-Jun-2020 3:35 PM EDT
In A COVID-19 World Lies Another Threat to the Health of Our Children
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Medical school and healthcare industry leaders warn that a drastic decline in pediatric vaccinations in the United States, poses a great risk of serious illnesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

Newswise: 233342_web.jpg
Released: 1-Jun-2020 3:35 PM EDT
Employers could face legal action over COVID-19 exposure, expert warns
University of Stirling

Employers across the UK could face legal action from employees who return to work and contract the COVID-19 virus, a leading health and safety expert has warned.

Released: 1-Jun-2020 3:20 PM EDT
Rebuilding New Jersey after COVID-19: Advancing a Healthy, Resilient, Sustainable and Fair Garden State
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

The New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC), New Jersey Climate Change Alliance, and Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick will co-host Rebuilding New Jersey after COVID-19: Advancing a Healthy, Resilient, Sustainable and Fair Garden State to discuss opportunities for restarting New Jersey’s economy, post COVID-19, in ways that intersect health equity and social well-being with addressing climate change, building inclusive and vibrant communities, and expanding opportunities for civic engagement

Released: 1-Jun-2020 2:50 PM EDT
COVID-19 could be a seasonal illness with higher risk in winter
University of Sydney

New Australian research has found a link between COVID-19 and lower humidity


Showing results

110 of 2036

close
1.05028