COVID-19 Transition Resources

Welcome to the Preparing Future Faculty Resource page on transitioning to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you will find in these pages some useful information, strategies and tips for moving your course online. If nothing else, we hope that these resources will give you some small sense of security. You are not alone in this; we are all struggling together.

More than anything else, we want you to take away a sense of compassion and forgiveness—not just for your students, but for yourself as well. This is an unprecedented event that struck with little notice and even less time for preparation. We cannot hold ourselves to the standards of a successful course that was designed for the online medium from the beginning.

To quote Rebecca Barrett-Fox, “You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.” In this post, Dr. Barrett-Fox puts the situation we are in into perspective: We are not building an online course; that requires far more time and preparation than we have. We have limited time and mental bandwidth right now. With that in mind, she provides helpful tips on how to save your sanity, be compassionate to your students, and focus only on what is necessary for maintaining your course. You can read the full blog post here.

As you move forward with reconfiguring your course, cultivate an atmosphere of care and concern for yourself. Be realistic about what you can do, lower your expectations, and communicate clearly to your students. We leave you with the words of Brandon Bayne

Brandon Bayne Revised Syllabus Principles:

Spring 2020 Adjusted Syllabus
UNC - Chapel Hill

  1. Nobody signed up for this.
    • Not for the sickness, not for the social distancing, not for the sudden end of our collective lives together on campus
    • Not for an online class, not for teaching remotely, not for learning from home, not for mastering new technologies, not for varied access to learning materials
  2. The humane option is the best option.
    • We are going to prioritize supporting each other as humans
    • We are going to prioritize simple solutions that make sense for the most
    • We are going to prioritize sharing resources and communicating clearly
  3. We cannot just do the same thing online.
    • Some assignments are no longer possible
    • Some expectations are no longer reasonable
    • Some objectives are no longer valuable
  4. We will foster intellectual nourishment, social connection, and personal accommodation.
    • Accessible asynchronous content for diverse access, time zones, and contexts
    • Optional synchronous discussion to learn together and combat isolation
  5. We will remain flexible and adjust to the situation.
    • Nobody knows where this is going and what we’ll need to adapt
    • Everybody needs support and understanding in this unprecedented moment