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A Connected College

TCU Classroom Campus LifePreparing educators, counselors and leaders isn’t easy during a global pandemic that requires social distancing and masks. As part of TCU’s Connected Campus Plan, College of Education faculty and staff have been training and planning for high-quality online and blended instruction for the fall semester.

College faculty and e-trainers Curby Alexander and Jennifer Smith have helped facilitate training and share best practices and resources they’ve found and collected from colleagues.

“We’re really having thoughtful intentional discussions on not just should we put students together in groups to have discussions but how to do that well,” Alexander said. “When you talk about how to facilitate learning in different modes of instruction it makes you to think more about the quality of that teaching experience.”

Alexander will teach his introductory Critical Investigations course in a blended format with some students opting to join on-campus and some online. He said that learning about the social foundations, societal structure and professional lives of teachers can be done no matter how a student engages with the course, but that classroom observation will require some creativity with unknowns for area PK-12 school districts. He said they will watch more videos of teaching for their observation component, which can be more helpful for aspiring educators because they can see the whole picture in a classroom, rather than what’s happening at a certain point in time.

Smith teaches the Children’s Literature course, taken by many students across all majors. She said that the majority of her students opted for on-campus instruction. She’s aiming to keep her course experience similar to what it typically looks like, while maintaining safety guidelines like social distancing. She and many college faculty and staff will use classroom cameras to include students learning virtually and will facilitate discussions in virtual breakout rooms.

“Remote learning has helped me think about the most important components of my class that I want to keep and making it work in this kind of environment,” she said. “We are going to have great classes in our college. Everyone is really thinking through how to make courses a quality experience for our students.”

TCU faculty are committed to providing an outstanding academic experience for students, whether courses are online, in person or a combination of both. For more information and resources for fall 2020, visit the TCU Connected Campus site. 

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