Office of the Provost
Planning for Fall Semester
Our community is justifiably proud of what we have accomplished in moving all spring courses to a remote format in just a few short weeks. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has played a part in this successful effort.
We now must face the reality that we are at the beginning, not the end, of an unprecedented period of change. I am writing to ask for your help in meeting the strategic challenges facing higher education and our community.
Planning for Fall Semester
As you know, we will deliver online courses exclusively this summer. It also is possible a substantial portion of fall semester courses will be offered only online. Our ability to gather in groups may continue to be limited, restricting our ability to hold medium and large face-to-face classes. We must be prepared for any eventuality and find creative alternatives to standard operations.
I have asked the deans to work with department chairs and faculty to explore options under a variety of contingencies for each course planned for fall semester. Some courses may be taught entirely online if necessary, while others could be offered in different formats or on different timetables. I encourage faculty to think creatively and help identify ways to offer high-quality courses under the social distancing constraints we may be facing.
It is possible many of our courses will be in an online format for some time. It is important that we all understand the remote teaching methodologies that were acceptable during the emergency this spring will not meet the standards of excellence we seek in our classrooms. Online pedagogies are sophisticated and not the equivalent of posting materials through Kaltura or holding a live lecture on Webex.
While much is uncertain, one thing has become clear. From this point forward, faculty need to be trained for and skilled in online pedagogy in order to meet their professional obligations. It is no longer possible to be exclusively an “in person” or “online” instructor. All teaching faculty should be able to deliver content in a highly effective manner in both modalities. For most faculty, reaching this goal will require formal training through CETL.
We are building our central infrastructure and support system to give faculty the tools needed to meet the changing demands of higher education. CETL has developed a series of professional development opportunities for faculty to continue online skill acquisition. All faculty, especially those planning to teach in the fall, are strongly encouraged to take one of these courses. Even if you have taught online prior to spring semester, this training will help you meet the highest quality standards and learn the most effective pedagogies. You can learn more and sign up for an upcoming training course here: Mastering Online Teaching.
Your deans will work with department chairs to ensure everyone has access to the professional development they need. Thank you to the many faculty members teaching in summer and Maymester who already have enrolled in training sessions. Our students will benefit tremendously from your efforts.
Compensation for Online Instruction
In the past, we provided incentive compensation to early adopters who created and taught online courses at the request of departments and deans. As a result of recent events, online teaching necessarily has evolved to a job requirement. Going forward, faculty who develop and teach online courses as part of a regular course load will be compensated through the normal salary structure. We will continue to provide meaningful incentives for the development of Master Courses, for faculty who act as digital mentors and for those who take on responsibilities above and beyond normal workloads when requested.
We enter this new world together with a commitment to your success. We have a history of finding innovative solutions to challenging problems where no playbook exists. We will rise to the occasion again here. Thank you for your continued support of Georgia State.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs