FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2020
CHAPEL HILL, NC – The University of North Carolina System is taking steps to help faculty and instructors adapt their courses as the 17 constituent institutions begin transitioning to online learning in response to the coronavirus.
University leaders continue to work to maximize flexibility in how education is delivered in order to limit the potential impact of the coronavirus. As a part of the effort, each UNC System institution is transitioning, whenever possible, from in-person teaching to alternative, online instruction.
This will present significant challenges to those faculty members and students who are more accustomed to teaching and learning in traditional classrooms. The transition to an online learning environment often requires a complete course redesign. Many UNC System instructors are now faced with the challenge of having to quickly reimagine how they deliver information, lead discussion and assess student performance.
The UNC System has launched a digital resource on its website to assist faculty who need to move classes online quickly. The material supports the use of technology that allows faculty to hold classes when circumstances prevent them from physically meeting with students.
“Teaching during times of disruption requires remarkable flexibility to adapt normal teaching practices,” said UNC System Vice President for Digital Learning Jim Ptaszynski. “The process will feel unfamiliar, awkward, and in many cases frustrating, but with some preparation, and lots of patience, these online tools will help faculty get through this challenging situation. We have tried to strike the right balance between providing the bare essentials to avoid overwhelming those who are new to online teaching and providing enough detail to help them ramp up to online teaching quickly and efficiently.”
The UNC System has made this information freely available to instructors at all colleges and universities.
As part of these efforts, the UNC System partnered with LinkedIn Learning to identify courses that will help with this transition, ranging from material about making the most of EdTech tools like Canvas and virtual communication software like Microsoft Teams, to best practices for teaching online. LinkedIn is now offering these courses for free to all members, as a resource for educators of all levels as they transition courses online.
“We will work with LinkedIn Learning to make courses in their catalogue available to faculty and instructors to make the transition to online. This will enable all institutions to continue to provide students with a quality education in the midst of this challenging circumstance,” Ptaszynski said.