The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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March 27, 2020 

"One Shining Moment" – Resilient Faculty

With dorms now vacant, stadiums and courts silent, libraries and parking lots empty, it has never been clearer that the work of faculty and students—teaching and learning together—is the very essence of higher education.

In the coming weeks, we’re honored to share stories of your colleagues nationwide, the #ResilientFaculty who are making an impact on higher education, and most notably students, that will far outlast this current crisis.

We kick off this series with our own version of “One Shining Moment,” the annual video montage of the NCAA basketball tournament, or “March Madness,” which captures the best moments of the tournament. We want to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of faculty over the past few weeks, but even more importantly we want to inspire you with a preview of the impactful stories to come.

Classrooms may be closed, but faculty ensure class is still in session. 

Watch video
Call for Stories

We’re inspired—but in no way surprised—by the countless stories of faculty going above and beyond to help one another and ensure their students keep learning.

At Cal Poly Pomona, instructional technology experts re-routed support calls to their personal phones to ensure uninterrupted support from “Studio 6,” their technology training lab. At San Antonio College, teaching and learning experts have trained over 1,300 faculty online in one week, working around the clock to support faculty across the Alamos Colleges district. And, virtual communities like the Online Learning Collective are being created by faculty for faculty to provide platforms for expertise, collaboration and collegiality that exemplifies the best of the professoriate.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting the extraordinary leadership of educators from every region in the country, to honor and celebrate the amazing work of #ResilientFaculty.

We want to hear from you! Send in your stories by posting on social media with the hashtag #ResilientFaculty, and tag ACUE so we may share. Or, email us at or directly contact a member of the ACUE team.

Online Teaching Toolkit

In case you missed it!

ACUE's Online Teaching Resources can help you make the transition to a variety of remote teaching environments. 

These free resources are divided into six key topic areas for teaching remotely:

  1. Welcoming students to the online environment
  2. Managing your online presence
  3. Organizing your online course
  4. Planning and facilitating quality discussions
  5. Recording effective microlectures
  6. Engaging students in readings and microlectures

Special thanks to our incredibly talented and gracious contributors:

  • Michael Wesch, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University
  • Flower Darby, Director of Teaching for Student Success, Northern Arizona University, and author, with James M. Lang, of Small Teaching Online
  • Kevin Kelly, Coauthor of Advancing Online Teaching: Creating Equity-Based Digital Learning Environments
We encourage you to view, download and share!
Access New Online Teaching Resources
Recommended Read

Online Teaching at Its Best: Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research
Linda B. Nilson and Ludwika A. Goodson
(Jossey-Bass, 2017)

Over 70 percent of degree-granting institutions offer online classes, and while technical resources abound, the courses often fall short of integrating the best practices in online pedagogy, even if they comply with online course design standards. Typically these standards omit the best practices in teaching and learning and the principles from cognitive science, leaving students struggling to keep the pace, understand the material, and fulfill their true potential as learners. 

Online Teaching at Its Best: Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research fills the gap, providing evidence-based practices for online teaching, online course design, and online student motivation integrated with pedagogical and cognitive science. This book provides practical, real-world advice grounded in educational science to help online instructors, instructional designers, and administrators deliver an exceptional learning experience.

Linda Nilson is a featured expert in ACUE's courses and served on an independent committee of experts in higher education that assessed the methodologies and findings of ACUE's efficacy studies at 12 colleges and universities. 

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education. This collection of "News in Brief" is focused on coverage related to COVID-19 and the impact on higher education.
What Is a College Education in the Time of Coronavirus?
As colleges and universities move their instruction online, Richard Arum and Mitchell L. Stevens hope the global pandemic will serve as a wake-up call for higher ed. They note that many institutions have been reluctant to embrace online learning formats, but going forward, they’ll need to invest their resources in it and compare outcomes among different students to figure out how to effectively deliver quality instruction and develop best practices. (The New York Times)
3 Ways Community Colleges Can Support Students During the Coronavirus Crisis
Because community colleges receive less funding than four-year public universities, and students are more likely to be low income and have children, Natalie Schwartz opines that these institutions must go above and beyond to support their students during the current coronavirus crisis. She suggests strategies such as connecting students to resources like emergency housing services and free WIFI provisions for low-income students to continue learning remotely. (Education Dive)
Sustaining Higher Education in the Coronavirus Crisis
EdSurge has rounded up a list of crowdsourced resources to support the higher education community. They include guidance on shifting courses online, online teaching tools and plans, and a list of college closures. (EdSurge)
How to Help Students Keep Learning Through a Disruption
Many colleges are offering resources to help students navigate online learning environments, including guides on how to alter their study habits and maintain relationships with faculty and fellow students, along with tools on how to learn remotely. There are also plenty of resources for instructors, including articles and videos, some by faculty who are also adjusting to the new format. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)
The Human Element in Online Learning
“Done right, online education is surprisingly intimate,” write Larry DeBrock, Norma Scagnoli, and Fataneh Taghaboni-Dutta. Based on their experience with the online MBA program at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, they suggest methods such as interacting with students through comments on assignments or acknowledging them by name in class and soliciting questions by holding online office hours, among others. (Inside Higher Ed)
Keep Calm and Keep Teaching
During this time of transition, Jody Green suggests several ways to adjust. For example, she advises faculty to ask colleagues in a similar discipline and their centers for teaching and learning for ideas and talking to students about what it means for them to be “good partners in learning.” (Inside Higher Ed)
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