Director's Update for June 2020

Nick Monk: Smiling man with brown hair and tailored blue jacket.
Nick Monk, CTT Director

Hi, I’m Nick Monk, and I’m Director of the CTT.

Since the COVID-19 situation forced most of us into remote working, students, faculty, and staff, have been coming to terms with a collection of new challenges. Not least among these has been switching to online instruction in the spring. We followed this up by moving our entire summer program online, and now we look towards the fall and a hybrid model of teaching and learning that will have a significant online component.

Whatever the challenges we face at UNL, the CTT is committed to supporting all instructors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in their teaching. We seek to identify and share best practices across a range of pedagogies. In all our programming and interactions, therefore, we recommend approaches to teaching and learning that are active, collaborative, inclusive, and engaging. Our approach is non-prescriptive, however, and we consider instructors to be the experts on their material, and the relationship between that material and their teaching. We want to create a space in which the co-creation of knowledge can thrive.

There are several ways in which the CTT works to this end. We provide guides containing detailed information on teaching online, for example, and others on assessment, and inclusive excellence. There is also a guide for students. In addition we have created a framework for teaching and learning in online-rich environments which is founded in the principles of preparedness and equity – although the particular framework chosen for the fall program is a matter for individual schools, colleges, and departments.

The CTT collaborates, too, with the Teaching Academy in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Engineering and Computing Education Core, and the Teaching and Learning Center in the College of Business. We offer support and training to the wider university through our Summer Institute for Online Teaching (SIOT), the latest iteration of which will begin on June 15th, and we will also offer a series of workshops in July that are designed to help instructors with teaching in the fall – details will appear shortly. Finally, our Instructional Designers continue to be available for individual consultations.

The guidance we offer is responsive to the situation in which we find ourselves. The information and suggestions on the CTT website, therefore, and the guidance we provide to instructors are necessarily dynamic, and we update and add to our materials on a regular basis. We pay close attention in particular to the feedback we receive from instructors, and this is factored into the development of our materials and individual support.

Please contact us if we can help in any way with your teaching and good luck in all your endeavors over the summer.

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