My interview with Professor Nadia Naffi. Click on image to see video

I was interviewed earlier this week by Nadia Naffi, a professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Laval, (Québec City) for a research project she and her colleagues are conducting to investigate and recommend best practices Teaching and Learning Centres have employed to support online delivery of courses in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

I was a little reluctant to do this, because I do not work – and have not worked for years – in a Teaching and Learning Centre, and they have enough on their plates at the moment to to do without someone like me telling them what to do. However, at the same time, this is an important project. Even before Covid-19 struck, Teaching and Learning Centres were facing the challenge of how to scale up their services to cope with the increase in online and blended learning. Covid-19 merely brought home immediately and dramatically this problem.

Nadia has recorded the 30 minute interview and it is available from here:

The interview covers the following topics, primarily focused on how to scale up support for instructors to ensure effective online and digital learning:

  • the challenge of instructors untrained in teaching having abruptly to change teaching methods when they have no sound pedagogical background
  • the need to change institutional culture to give greater incentives and rewards for effective, modern approaches to teaching
  • the value of instructors learning how to teach online by just doing it
  • how willing instructors have been to change rapidly due to Covid-19
  • the value of just-in-time on demand online resources on how to teach effectively online
  • the value of an easy-to-find question-based web site for resources on how to teach effectively online
  • use of OER/existing resources to support instructors
  • why the existing faculty development model is broken
  • the need to rethink first year classes – and the dominant lecture-based teaching model
  • the systemic issues preventing change in teaching in post-secondary education
  • the need for instructors to have an overall framework/structure/course to support the development of effective online teaching
  • the need for a digital learning strategy for each academic department

I doubt if I have added anything new to what readers of this blog have already known, and more importantly, I doubt if this is really telling at least Canadian teaching and learning centres what they don’t know already, but it may be useful as a checklist or for making a case to your Provost, Deans or other senior administrators.


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