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Pivoting to remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges, opportunities, and insights 

Learn about the different ways that Vantage instructors pivoted to remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This online event featured three short talks by experienced UBC Vantage College instructors who reported on their experience over the summer months as they adapted to remote teaching contexts.

You can access the full event recording below:

Contents of this talk:

Pandemic Teaching: Designing UBC’s COVID-19 & Society course
By Katherine Lyon, PhD

This presentation details the development of a new online sociology course, COVID-19 & Society, delivered summer 2020 at UBC. Course design considerations to be discussed include the strengths and challenges of teaching and learning about an ongoing crisis, the facilitation of digital course learning communities, and the rapid and collaborative development of thematic course content.

Adapting to new circumstances: Recounting the experience of Engineering program instructors at UBC-O
By Ernest Goh, PhD

Under normal circumstances, the Applied Science (Engineering) stream of UBC Vantage College conducts its summer term in UBC's Okanagan campus, in the city of Kelowna. Arising from the COVID-19 situation, this past Vantage summer term was conducted online. Instructors taught from home, while none of the students were in Kelowna. At the start of term, 19 students were in East Asia, 41 in North America, and 4 in other parts of the world. More students returned to their home countries during the term. This presentation recounts the experiences of a group of Engineering instructors, led by Ernest Goh, as they adapted their teaching to the new situation this past summer. The considerations included workload distribution, pacing, reasonable contact hours for all time zones, etc. Additionally, one of the courses is a project course, with some logistics to consider. Ernest will share insights from this experience in his role as coordinator.

Key Design Considerations and Implementations for Teaching Chemistry Online
By Anka Lekhi, PhD

As I prepared to transition a first-year Chemistry course online, I identified four key elements to help me design the course. These key elements included: making content easily accessible, building community among learners and between learners and the teaching team, incorporating peer learning, and having opportunities for feedback on student learning. In this presentation, I will outline specific strategies I implemented in Canvas and Collaborate Ultra which facilitated these four key elements.

About the Speakers

Dr. Katherine Lyon, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Sociology

Dr. Katherine Lyon is Assistant Professor of Teaching in Sociology at UBC. Her research is situated within sociology of education and scholarship of teaching and learning, focusing on experiential pedagogies and inclusive assessment. Katherine is founder and co-president of the Sociological Teaching group for the International Sociological Association, co-chair of UBC Vantage One Arts, and teaching assistant training coordinator for UBC Sociology.

Dr. Ernest Goh, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Engineering

Ernest Goh received his B.Eng and M.Eng degrees from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He taught college-level engineering for more than a decade before joining a consulting group. In 2010 he returned to NTU as a research associate and at the same time embarked on his Ph.D. studies. Upon completion, he joined the National University of Singapore, where he taught mechanical design related courses. In 2016, he was jointly hired by the School of Engineering in UBC Okanagan and Vantage College. His teaching duties comprise courses for UBC-O direct entry students in the winter terms, and two courses for Vantage College students in the summer.

Dr. Anka Lekhi, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Chemistry

Anka Lekhi is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the department of Chemistry and Vantage College. She mainly teaches General Chemistry as well as Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. In addition to teaching, Anka manages and facilitates the Chemistry Teaching Assistant Training program and is the chair of the Vantage College Intercultural Communication Committee. Her research interests include investigating the effectiveness of team-based learning and the relationship between epistemologies and student experiences in first-year university.