Are you interested in creating a student-centered virtual teaching and learning environment that fosters student engagement and community?
Would you like to explore evidence-based ways to support each student’s needs while maintaining consistency in the class?
Are you looking for a support group of peers?
Are you open to examining your own beliefs about and implementing new effective teaching and assessment strategies in a virtual environment?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we invite you to participate in FOCI Series 4.
This FOCI series is not restricted to mathematics instructors. Two cohorts are available for faculty from other disciplines. Faculty members from all departments are encouraged to participate!
Creating Effective Learning Experiences at a Distance:
Fostering a community of engaged learners in a virtual environment
This FOCI series consists of six sessions that explore the principles and strategies that support student-centered learning in a virtual environment. Create community and increase inclusivity and access for all students. Promote student engagement and motivate learning.
FOCI sessions are highly interactive and take place online via Zoom in a secure virtual meeting room. There is no travel required to participate!
You’ll work with a cohort of peers in large and small groups to learn together. Facilitators from the Charles A. Dana Center will guide each session and ensure that you have all of the tools and support you need to apply your knowledge effectively in the classroom.
To allow ample time to complete the deep work required for this series, there will always be a few weeks between sessions. Participants should commit to attending all six sessions (see session-by-session outcomes below) and completing the between-session work over the course of the series.
Session 1: Creating Community in a Virtual Environment
- Establish a safe, supportive, participant-centered learning environment for the cohort.
- Set goals for participation and growth during this professional learning series.
Session 2: Promoting Active Learning and Student Engagement
- Examine innovative assessment techniques that support academic integrity.
- Create activities and assessments that map to student learning outcomes.
- Explore culturally responsive teaching strategies that motivate learning.
Session 3: Increasing Inclusivity and Access for All Students
- Discuss and build an equitable syllabus.
- Explore considerations for inclusive interactivity among students, instructors, and content.
- Consider aspects of the principles of universal design for learning.
Session 4: Transitioning to a Community of Engaged Learners in an Asynchronous Environment
- Examine evidence-based pedagogy for virtual teaching and learning.
- Apply instructional design models to the virtual space.
- Choose and adapt methods for co-constructing the course with students.
Session 5: Addressing Student Needs
- Discuss the holistic treatment of students in a virtual environment.
- Consider aspects of the digital divide and how to support students in effective asynchronous learning.
- Explore the concept of a student hub for campus supports.
Session 6: Establishing Pedagogy First, Choosing Tools Second
- Reflect on pedagogical decisions implemented throughout the semester.
- Evaluate tools for appropriateness and effectiveness.
- Design and apply an evaluation process for continuous improvement of pedagogy and tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost to participate in FOCI?
FOCI costs $475 per person to participate.
What is my commitment?
Actively participating in the full series of 6 sessions (12 total hours)
Each session is 2 hours long. During each session, we will use authentic situations to explore, struggle with, and make sense of pedagogical and content challenges. Session delivery uses the video and audio features of Zoom. This technology enables us to converse “face-to-face” in real time, in large and small groups, without the expense and hassle of traveling to a central location.
Preparing for each session and trying new ideas in your own classroom after each session
Prior to each session, you are expected to do a limited amount of preparation work, often a short reading, video viewing, document analysis, and/or personal reflection. After each session, you commit to trying a technique or approach we discussed during the session.
Contributing to the large and small group discussions; supporting your peers
Contribute in the large and small group discussions, bringing your own perspectives and prior experiences into the conversations. Collegially engage in conversations and application activities focused on deepening student understanding through effective student discourse and collaboration.
What support will I get from the Dana Center?
You will receive high quality, well-researched, and thoughtful materials for the entire series. All session materials (readings, reflections, handouts, and slide decks) will be provided. You will also have access to session recordings so that you can review the content on your own.
Support from trained facilitators
Dana Center curriculum and professional learning specialists will lead the sessions. These individuals are available to answer questions and provide support during and between the sessions. They can address content and application questions as well as technology issues (e.g. the video conferencing platform).
Certificate of completion
You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the series that may be submitted with tenure or promotional materials for your department. The topics and number of hours of professional learning you completed will be listed on the certificate.