Internal - Faculty & Staff

Resource Page for Undergraduate Program 2U Transition

Thank you for your flexibility, openness, and commitment to ensuring our students receive a high-quality education this fall.  This page has been created for faculty to consult and re-visit as the course redesign process begins. 

Information on Summer 2020 Online Transition Support has been moved.

Fall 2020 Update

Simmons thoughtful process has led us to decide that all of our teaching and activities will be online for the Fall 2020 semester, with very few exceptions, and therefore very few students living on campus. This is the best way to ensure the continued health and safety of our community and to deliver on our mission — providing transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose. It also follows our deeply held value of ensuring equity and fairness in opportunity and experience.

Key Faculty Resources

The best way to reach 2U

The best way to get in touch with 2U for various support related questions is via the chat feature on the Online Campus. Click the chat icon within the Online Campus and follow the prompts so that your questions can be answered by the appropriate team within 24 hours. Learn more about 2U services and support on the 2UOS Essential Resource page. If your Online Campus is not yet set up, feel free to email us at support-[email protected] with any questions.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and 2U’s faculty support and design teams have been collaborating closely to create a well-supported process for faculty support. This page will continue to be updated as the summer progresses.

CET Pivotal Pedagogy Sessions

These one-hour sessions address emerging needs of faculty by addressing topics such as creating engaging and effective synchronous and asynchronous sessions, administering exams in online courses, creating engaging online discussions. Recordings of past Pivotal Pedagogy sessions can be found in the LiveBinder (access key: cet). This LiveBinder will be continually updated with future recordings of Pivotal Pedagogy sessions.

2UOS Essential Resources Website

The 2UOS Essential Resources website is a hub of information and instructional resources to aid you in designing, developing, and teaching your online course. We encourage you to explore the resources at your convenience, which include information on the course development process, Online Campus functionality, and getting the most out of Studio in a Box for video production.

You can now use the Workshops page of this website to register for group training sessions beginning June 15th. Whenever possible, attend these sessions with the members of your design team. We encourage you to begin with the following Foundational Trainings:

  • “Intro to Building Your Course in the Online Campus,” a 60-minute session (followed by an optional 30-minute Q&A) that will show you how to navigate and build in l the Online Campus.
  • “Live Classroom Overview,” a 75-minute session covering how to facilitate interactive live sessions that promote social learning.

The best way to get in touch with 2U for various support related questions is via our chat feature on the Online Campus. Click the chat icon within the Online Campus and follow the prompts so that your questions can be answered by the appropriate team within 24 hours. Learn more about 2U services and support on the 2UOS Essential Resource page.

If your Online Campus is not yet set up, feel free to email us at [email protected] with any questions.

CET Online Course Design Modules and LiveBinder

CET Online Course Design Modules will incorporate familiar principles used by CET, such as backward design, as well as 2U’s Learning Experience Framework and online lesson planning template.  2U’s materials align well with CET’s work: their approach to online learning is founded in teaching and learning science literature, the platform is versatile and creative, student-centered, and effective pedagogies are very much possible and encouraged.    

Resources for Course Design Modules and recordings of the session can be found in the CET Online Course Design Modules LiveBinder – Access Key: coursedesign.  Please contact [email protected] for any questions about the LiveBinder.

Faculty Online Design Coaches and Faculty Design Teams

Faculty Online Design Coaches have strong experience with online learning, excellence in teaching, and/or peer coaching and will be supporting colleagues throughout the summer. Coaches can provide feedback on syllabi, course designs, and lesson plans. Faculty are encouraged to contact their Faculty Coach at any point throughout the process.

Faculty Coaches will coordinate the formation of 3-person, discipline-based Faculty Design Teams for this summer. These peer groups will be invited to meet at least twice during the CET online course design modules for peer feedback and mutual support; the groups are encouraged to continue to meet during the summer as is helpful to their work and to invite their Faculty Design Coach to join them if desired.

Kick Off Session and Essential Orientation Recordings

Missed the Undergraduate Online Kickoff Session and/or one of the Faculty Orientation Sessions? Links of these recordings can be found below. Based on feedback from the first orientation, the structure of the following orientations were changed.  The second orientation is linked for view below.  The presentations are the same, but the second, third and fourth orientations included fundamental information about our work at the beginning, and a Q&A at both the beginning and end of the session.

Additional Summer Online Resources: Online Faculty Fellows Hub

Looking to enhance your skills in teaching with technology? Want to understand more about online teaching and learning? Join the Simmons Online Faculty Fellowship.

Summer 2020 Courses, Online Transition Support

Support for Online Transition

Simmons is dedicated to supporting both faculty and students during this shift from on-ground to online courses (which began on March 23, 2020). Supporting our students in successfully meeting the learning objectives of their summer courses is our priority. While the highest-quality online course designs are a longer, more involved process, we are offering approaches that can be implemented quickly to ensure educational continuity.

Information current as of June 4, 2020 – We will update this page as new information becomes available.

Technology Support

Support for Simmons-supported academic technologies, including Moodle, Zoom, and Panopto will be available through our Academic Systems IT team. Technology has created a website with resources to help you get up to speed with using these tools, including videos and quick start guides, virtual classroom examples, and a technology-focused planning checklist. We are reviewing data from the faculty survey to determine other types of support from this team, such as webinars or other programming.

Support Programs
Library Support

The Simmons University Library is available to support your learning and teaching during the rapidly changing public health crisis. Please see our Covid-19 Library Guide for information on digitizing course reserves, interlibrary loan services, research and instruction librarian support, and free resources from major publishers, including JSTOR and the Harvard Business Review.

Next Steps

In the meantime, we’d recommend taking these steps to prepare:

  • Consider whether you’d like to move your class online as a synchronous (“live”) or asynchronous (not “live”) approach. A synchronous session allows for real-time lectures, discussions, and activities, but not all of your students may have the technology or Internet access at home to connect in this way. Think through which option might be the best fit in your particular context.
  • Communicate with students. It is important to give them as much information as you can about how the class will operate online and to be reassuring as well. Wherever possible, keep the syllabus and plan consistent.
  • Note that lectures, discussion, student presentations, and similar common pedagogical approaches can be moved online using Moodle, Zoom, Panopto, and other tools. Contact your College’s faculty specialist for ideas and strategies for how to do this. Some experiential learning approaches are more difficult to move online– we recommend reaching out to your College’s faculty support specialist, colleagues, and Dean to develop an appropriate strategy.
  • Move your office hours online, and let students know how to connect with you virtually. Either Zoom or email are great ways to be available online during office hours.
  • Make sure that you have the tools that you need, such as access to files from home.
  • Do what you can to create space on your calendar so that you’ll have the time that you’ll need to support your students.
  • Accessibility Services will be communicating with students served by OAS about how their accommodations will be met in the online environment. OAS can answer these questions for you, as well. For technical questions, contact your faculty support person, who can triage and refer questions to IT or OAS, as appropriate.
  • Moving a course online can provide unique challenges with exam-based student assessments. Your College’s specialist can review options with you to help you decide how to best assess student learning in an online environment.

More information and support will be coming soon. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this change together.