by Carlos Guevara and George Rosa
At the start of the Covid 19 crisis,when CUNY decided to move to all-distance instruction, The Office of Educational Technology, the office responsible for providing support to faculty for distance learning and use of technology in pedagogy, took immediate steps to prepare for this monumental task. A continuity plan was developed which included continued EdTech team operations on extended schedules from remote locations. Virtual phones were set up to allow EdTech to provide support. A total of 67 Laptop computers were loaned out to faculty. Support to faculty was continued without interruption at its normal high level.
Support to faculty was continued without interruption at its normal high level. Below is the data on one-to-one support:
Provided one-to-one support
- 658 (non-unique)
- 195 (unique)
As part of the plan an extensive training program was begun including workshops open to all. faculty and training in online course development and pedagogy through the Online Learning Initiative. This included a series of workshops established with the goal of training faculty in Black-board tools, especially Collaborate Ultra, Blackboard’s live video streaming application from March 16th and extended until August 20th.
The following is the data reflecting the extent of faculty participation in the workshops: Several workshops to assist with the transition (March 16th to August 20th)
- 65 workshops
- 194 faculty (non-unique)
- 20 faculty (unique)
For students, several workshops were offered. Over 800 students completed the Are You Ready? online learning preparedness course during this period, while over 700 students so far have taken the new Are You Ready? course,
Online Learning Initiatives
These initiatives are centered on mentoring and the course development guidelines established by EdTech and ETLC (latest update presented at the Hostos Senate in 2018); which includes five pillars for effective course design and delivery based on national standards and best practices. Four initiatives were off ered to support remote instruction in Summer and Fall semesters Hybrid & Asynchronous Initiatives.
Four initiatives were offered to support remote instruction in Summer and Fall semesters.
- Two focused on design and delivery and two only on delivery of online learning
- 278 out of 346 completed the initiatives and 200 courses were certified
Hybrid & Asynchronous Initiatives
As of Spring 2020, 398 (223 unique) developers, 115 (82 unique) hybrid and 237 (170 unique) asynchronous/ synchronous courses were developed:
- 4 faculty members developed new courses in Fall 2019
- 155 (unique) faculty members participated in Spring and June 2020
- 27 from ALH
- 20 from BSC
- 15 from BUS
- 23 from EDU
- 55 from HUM
- 13 from ENG
- 11 from L& C
- 22 from MAT
- 35 from NAS
Each initiative counted with faculty mentors/instructional design consultants and EdTech instructional design specialists:
- May: 12 faculty, 4 EdTech specialists (1 part time)
- June: 26 faculty, 6 EdTech specialists (2 part time)
- July: 7 faculty, 3 EdTech specialists (1 part time)
- August: 7 faculty, 3 EdTech specialists (1 part time)
Faculty members from ETLC evaluated courses submitted for certification
- Usual # of evaluations per AY is about 30
- Almost 500 evaluations done during this summer
Initiatives were designed with built-in pre and post surveys:
- Pre survey: 311 faculty
- Post survey: 196 faculty
Responses from the pre- and post- surveys were used to make improvements to subsequent initiatives.
Survey Responses (#)
How would you rate your proficiency in creating effective learning unit structures in Blackboard?
Range Effective to Expert (%)
How would you rate your familiarity and experience with Learning Management Systems (e.g. Blackboard) in general? Range Effective to Expert (%)
How would you rate your proficiency in creating assessments in Blackboard?
Range Effective to Expert (%)
This course was very in preparing me to teach an online course. (%)
- Faculty Mentors/Instructional Design Consultants were surveyed at every initiative.
- 40 survey responses.
- Close to 100% rate the structure of the initiative to help faculty develop their online course to be above average or higher.
- Over 90% rate the participants understanding of the expectations of the online initiatives to be above average or higher.
- Over 90 % rate this initiative to be beneficial for participants.
At the beginning of the fall semester the Self-paced Online Learning Initiative, available on Blackboard, was launched for new faculty or those who need a refresher.
EdTech will continue providing the same level of support and identifying areas for improvement to better serve faculty and students, including offering professional development opportunities.