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Sheridan invests to ensure a quality educational experience this Fall

Jul 13, 2020

As the 2020 Winter semester was coming to an end, Sheridan pivoted to remote online delivery methods to ensure students in most programs could finish up the academic year with no adverse effects on their learning outcomes.  Building on this experience, the College adapted its approach for the Spring/Summer semester, and is hard at work preparing for the upcoming Fall semester, which will see a majority of students engaged in remote online learning.

Among the steps being taken at Sheridan:

Investment in Technology

Sizable and strategic investments in new educational technology software, embedded in the Learning Management System, have been made to support an effective transition to remote delivery for faculty and students alike. These include, but are not limited to, a new remote online exam proctoring tool; a course collaboration tool supporting synchronous (at the same time) and asynchronous (at different times) lecturing through recording capabilities, video assignments; and a video capture platform used to record high quality interactive lectures and demonstration videos.

Realigned Staff Focused on Fall Preparation

Sheridan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has mobilized its 25+ staff to support faculty in their online deployment of courses and program curriculum.

  • Our Learning Management System staff are supporting faculty to effectively use the tools and curate course content, and have developed new/enhanced training and support materials.
  • E-learning designers are supporting online course conversions, and also consulting on enhancements/strategies/tool integration for e-learning development and design.
  • Our Digital and Visualization team is supporting the development of custom digital and multimedia applications that enhance the online teaching and learning experience for students.
  • The Educational Development Team has conducted over 200 consultations to support faculty in the transition to remote online learning.

Sheridan’s academic Faculties have also designated key faculty, and groups of faculty, to mobilize online teaching and learning support within their programs.

Online Learning and Teaching Collective

This is a group of over 20 cross-disciplinary faculty who are committed to fostering equitable, accessible and inclusive learning communities and experiences for Sheridan students in the context of remote online delivery.  The Collective is focused on fostering an enhanced culture of online teaching and learning excellence across Sheridan.  Areas of focus include:

  • Pedagogical approaches to educational technology adoption;
  • Building accessible and inclusive online learning environments;
  • Strategies to build community and foster student engagement; and
  • Optimizing the blend between synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning online.

Teaching and Learning @ Sheridan College

This intranet site launched in late June to create a space for active engagement of the community in teaching and learning.

Online Learning and Teaching Guide

This Guide offers tools, practices and examples to support and inspire an online approach that is evidence-informed, relevant and relational for our learners.  The guide is designed to provide an accessible, well-researched and comprehensive overview of tools and practices that will continue to drive student engagement and learning out curricula should not be measured or constrained by the medium, whether that be traditional face to face comes.

As Janet Shuh, Associate Dean of Educational Development and Technology, suggests, “quality and pedagogically driven curricula should not be measured or constrained by the medium, whether that be traditional face to face instruction or online delivery. Rather, they should be driven by other inputs and outcomes such as active engagement, peer and instructor interactivity, and authentic assessment – all principles showcased in this guide”.

Building from traditional classroom practices and pedagogies, this guide highlights Learner-Centered Principles for Higher Education as an organizing framework for our teaching guide since these principles have broad applicability to all teaching and learning contexts and milieus, including classroom, hybrid, and online.

“The transition to remote learning has served to remind us that human-centred pedagogy is at the heart of our approach to teaching and learning irrespective of the mode of delivery”, said Dr. Yael Katz, Vice Provost.  “In an environment where our capacity to leverage on-site engagement has been so limited and unpredictable, we have been inspired to find new and unique ways to foster connection, creativity and humanity across disciplines, and to tap into integral components of the human mind that actually foster learning.  Our unwavering commitment to academic quality and student success will remain front and centre as we navigate the way forward and welcome the Fall semester.” 

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