Robin Ambrozy outlines remote teaching and internship strategies for faculty during pandemic
The presentation explored new and alternative ways to rethink teaching and internships in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Internships changed, higher education changed, and the industries that we serve changed, so we have to be adaptable,” said Ambrozy, Customer Service Leadership program coordinator. “We’re still educating students—that didn’t change—but the way we did it changed. Educators need the skills and technology required to effectively educate students remotely.”
Ambrozy’s presentation marked the third installment of The Patton College’s new Remote Teaching Series, which discusses innovations in teaching and engaging students with technology. The series is open to all Ohio University faculty and its online community, and each session is hosted on Microsoft Teams and recorded for those who cannot attend or participate live.
Ambrozy explored tools on Zoom and OneDrive, among other programs, and showed faculty effective ways to facilitate engagement remotely between and among students and faculty. OneDrive, for example, offers a live journal feature with shared editing privileges. Ambrozy will pose a question each week, and students will answer the question in the journal, often interacting with and replying to each other in the process. This tool is especially helpful when in-person instruction is not feasible.
“I think our students are fearful—and I don’t mean fearful of coronavirus,” said Ambrozy. “I mean fearful that they can’t complete their education, that they don’t have the skills employers need, or because their industry suddenly looks different than what they expected. They might think they’re not ready, but they are. The reality is we’ve been using and teaching technology through all of our courses. Going forward, we need to take that knowledge and make it transferable to our industry.”
Ambrozy introduced faculty to other tools, including Calendly, Live Text Transcript, and Screencast-O-Matic. She also showed faculty new ways to communicate with students individually about assignments, coursework, and their progress in class.
“Finding needs—and using technology to meet them—is a valuable service we can provide our students and the industry,” said Ambrozy. “Getting the most out of technology is critical. Sometimes we just use what we know, but exploring new ways of doing things can be powerful.”
Ambrozy also stressed the importance of being mindful of students’ mental health and giving them a voice. Classmates often enjoy engaging with each other through blogs, journals, discussions, and videos, as it gives them an outlet to talk about their own personal experience with the pandemic—or any current event. Ambrozy does not require students to read each other’s blogs or engage with the author, but oftentimes they do.
“Students lost their graduation day and had to move home almost overnight, so their lives have really been disrupted over the past few months,” said Ambrozy. “I watched their level of engagement with each other increase as they blogged about their experiences and shared their heart. It’s a powerful and valuable exercise for students.”
Ambrozy’s presentation was well-received by faculty, which has been a theme throughout the series. OHIO Eastern Assistant Professor Dr. Jacqueline Yahn presented, “What Worked Well in Transitioning to Fully Online Education,” on April 6, while Human and Consumer Sciences Assistant Professor Thom Stevenson presented, “Virtual Learning Approaches from a Mutually Safe Distance,” on April 20.
“This series has been incredibly worthwhile as faculty adjust to our new reality and find innovative ways to connect with students and deliver a quality education,” said Patton College Dean Renée A. Middleton. “If you’ve missed any of these presentations, I strongly recommend watching them on the College’s YouTube channel.”
Educational Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Jesse Strycker will present “Creating and using instructional videos, screencasts, and podcasts to increase instructor presence, increase student interaction, and expedite feedback in online courses,” on May 18, from noon to 1 p.m. Counseling and Higher Education Assistant Professor Dr. Tamarine Foreman will present on June 1. Her topic is to be determined.