The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Division of eLearning continue to offer training and support for faculty to best ensure an engaging learning environment.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham will launch its hybrid learning model for the fall semester — a course delivery system that requires a combination of both in-person instruction and remote instruction while ensuring social distancing precautions in the physical classroom.
To facilitate this change, UAB Information Technology has worked closely with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Division of eLearning to provide updated, technologically advanced classrooms across campus. The goals: to best ensure the upcoming semester can enable teachers to engage and provide instruction to all students safely and effectively and empower students who may spend their learning hours outside of the classroom.
“The Center for Teaching and Learning is committed to supporting UAB faculty as we all navigate the teaching challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott Phillips, director of the center. “To allow for social distancing, students in hybrid classes are assigned to attend in person on one day and join the class virtually on alternate days. Also, if a student can’t attend in person for health or other reasons, they can join remotely. Faculty are working very hard to ensure that students have a positive and engaging learning experience no matter how they participate in the class.”
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Each classroom at UAB has been measured and marked to ensure proper social distancing protocols.
The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Division of eLearning have been working with faculty, departments and schools to provide continuous training and support throughout the summer in preparation for the fall semester. Numerous workshops have been held, and the Division of eLearning continues to offer teachers individual consultations with course designers.
One of the features installed in classrooms to better aid online learning includes a camera that follows teachers as they move around the room. It allows the student to focus on the faculty member, and the technology enables the faculty member to have discussions with students attending the class through the Zoom application.
“Teachers and students will be able to hear the conversations from the Zoom room in their physical classroom, and the students who are joining through the Zoom application will be able to hear the discussions taking place in the physical classroom,” Phillips said. “Teachers will also be able to utilize the whiteboards in their classrooms and, through a preset, focus their camera on the whiteboard so students online can clearly see their lesson. There are other features as well to help facilitate a positive online experience.”