Page 30 - Campus Technology, May/June 2020
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FEATURE > Online Learning
“You can do an incredible amount with Zoom. It’s a great tool. But it’s not a substitute for full-blown, well-constructed online courses. It’s a tool in the quiver.”
wasn’t something to fear; it was a new experience. But it was something that they had seen many of their colleagues master in the past, and I think that brought a certain degree of confidence.
CT: What kind of training was being provided to them?
Regier: We’ve always had a lot of webinars through ASU Online. The webinars occur several times a month. I think in April we have 11 webinars sched- uled \[compared to\] five in March. We put 2,400 faculty through a two-week master class in online teaching and learning. We supplemented all of that within the weeks prior to \[the COVID19 clo- sure\] with additional training in how to use Zoom at scale. We, like many other universities, had to adapt to Zoom very quickly; but our university technology office in particular did a fantastic job of putting together a set of webinars and videos, a site \[where\] faculty could go to learn the best practices for how to break students into groups \[and\] how to teach synchronously using Zoom at scale and at distance.
CT: Now every school in the country is playing in EdPlus’ arena. What are you seeing that bright- ens your heart or makes you cringe?
Regier: What I’d say is they aren’t playing in the arena yet. What they’re doing is, they’ve made a move to a type of online education. The difference
is we’ve been doing this for 10 years. Just with our Canvas platform, we have a 150 different tools and technologies and processes. We’ve built 2,500 very high-quality online courses. We’ve continued to adapt new technologies. We’ve assessed the efficacy. We know what works; we know what doesn’t work. That’s 10 years that you simply can’t accelerate into three months.
It’s not that COVID-19 is going to change the reality that we face. I think it’s that COVID is going to accelerate the reality we face. There’s going to be an acceleration toward high-quality online teaching and learning — and that’s good. That’s something that we’ve been advocating inside EdP- lus and at ASU for a decade. We’ve had a hundred different institutions come through EdPlus over the past three or four years. And very few of them have made significant strides in online teaching and learning. But they’re going to over the next six months. I don’t think that’s a negative. In terms of advancing the country and serving the country, I think that’s a good thing overall.
What’s new is Zoom. I think it’s a very useful tool, and I think ASU has deployed it really intelli- gently. And I think it can be used increasingly for asynchronous coursework. In ASU Online, 99.9 percent is delivered asynchronously, because of the nature of the learners we serve. The learners can’t easily line up for a Monday-Wednesday-Fri- day class at 9:30 and a Tuesday-Thursday class at 2:15. They work. They are non-traditional stu- dents. They have sons and daughters and parents

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