As coronavirus cases continue to emerge in the U.S., college administrators across the country are meeting to discuss what it means for busy campuses. Here at Indiana University, the Keep Teaching website offers multiple options to keep class running and still meet teaching goals during emergency situations.
In response to the H1N1 flu virus epidemic in 2009, Keep Teaching was developed by the University Information Technology Services team, led by Stacy Morrone. The site provides faculty with the technical resources needed to move from face-to-face teaching to an online environment, while also considering pedagogical strategies.
“If a class makes heavy use of discussions, Keep Teaching can show the instructor the tools to accomplish that method effectively online,” said Morrone, associate vice president for learning technologies and professor of educational psychology.
Because IU makes the Keep Teaching resources available to faculty across the U.S., Pepperdine University used the site during the California wildfires in 2018. When the school closed its Seaver College campus in Malibu, faculty were caught off-guard by the need to move course content online quickly.
Christopher Heard, a religion professor and director of the school’s Center for Teaching Excellence, reached out to his professional network, and he got a quick response from Terri Tarr, director of the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning.
“That’s how I learned about IU’s Keep Teaching guidelines, which proved incredibly helpful to us,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words just how grateful I and the Seaver College administration are for the help we received from IU.”
With the onset of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the University of Maryland and Stanford University are among a number of schools reaching out to IU and asking permission to adapt the Keep Teaching materials.
“Of course, we’ve said yes,” Morrone said. “Because we’re all in this together.”
From a flu outbreak to bad weather to a family emergency, Morrone said the best way to be prepared for an unexpected situation is to be familiar with the options available on the Keep Teaching website.