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Looking to a Technology-Enhanced Fall Semester

Dear colleagues,

As we look to the fall, technology will play a critical role in teaching and learning—whether classes are online, hybrid, or face-to-face with online backup. A team including faculty and representatives from both the Office of Information Technology and Facilities Services is working to ensure that hundreds of classrooms get technology updates. We are prioritizing classrooms that will be used for hybrid instruction.

In partnership with OIT, we are finishing Round Two of the Virtual Vol Bootcamp now. Round Three starts next week with another 200 instructors. When finished, more than 570 full-time, part-time, and graduate student instructors of record will have completed one of the three bootcamps.

Working with our faculty leader, Mark Collins from the Haslam College of Business, 30 faculty fellows for technology-enhanced teaching are now active and working with instructors across campus. Fellows represent a broad range of colleges, departments, disciplines, and teaching expertise. See the faculty fellows website to learn more about the fellows and request a consultation.

We are also partnering with our faculty leader, Sally Harris from the Department of English, and staff from Student Success and OIT to offer the First-Year Course Academy beginning this month. The academy is a collection of resources and training modules to help empower and equip faculty teaching first-year courses with the tools they need to effectively educate, engage, and support our new students during the unique fall semester coming soon.

Teaching and Learning Innovation has created a library of new online and downloadable resources to help faculty teach during the pandemic. Resources include risk management tools for off-campus experiences and fieldwork as well as teaching tips, active learning techniques, and examples of group activities for socially distanced classrooms. We have also updated the campus syllabus to include new campus policies and guidelines regarding COVID-19.

I will be scheduling a seminar for instructors in the coming weeks to share additional information about what we are working on to support you this fall, and answer your questions. Panelists will discuss adaptations to classrooms, course formats, instructional strategies, new classroom technology, resources for instructors, expectations for students, and more.

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor