Senior instructor and Ecampus coordinator with the School of History, Philosophy and Religion
Years at OSU: Six
City of Residence: Corvallis
Katherine Hubler has a penchant for developing online history courses for Ecampus as part of her work as senior instructor and Ecampus coordinator with the School of History, Philosophy and Religion. So she was well-prepared when, on March 11, OSU Provost Ed Feser announced that for spring term all OSU classes would be moved to remote teaching.
“Personally, I wasn’t too daunted by the shift to remote teaching. We’re really fortunate at OSU that so many faculty have developed and taught through Ecampus,” Hubler said. “So, even though I knew that there was going to be a sizable learning curve for many faculty who had never taught online, I was reassured by the fact that we have a large number of teaching faculty who are well-trained in online course development and delivery.”
But Hubler was not expecting to be named leader of a team of College of Liberal Arts online instructors whose goal was to get the entire college faculty prepped for switching to remote teaching.
“I suspect I popped onto the CLA administration’s radar after I volunteered to host a finals week workshop for my SHPR colleagues about online teaching,” Hubler said. “Within a few hours after the formal announcement went out about online final exams and beginning spring term remotely, I began to receive emails from my colleagues who were concerned about the online jump.”
The timing wasn’t great when Hubler was contacted by CLA Dean Larry Rodgers, who, based on her expertise, asked her to lead the charge to support faculty from CLA and the Honors College in transitioning to remote teaching. It was late in finals week, everyone was swamped with grading, and Hubler was preparing to have her grade-school-age children home indefinitely, but she took up the charge.
“She has been the most important person in the entire college in getting CLA prepped to be 100 % remote teaching in the spring,” Rodgers said, “and she will be the college’s number one frontline person to aid faculty in real time responses as well as ongoing training throughout the entire spring quarter. Katie’s a rock star online teacher and trainer.”
Hubler said the first challenge her team faced was sorting out the logistics for live support service during spring break. But her co-workers provided great suggestions and were skilled at troubleshooting.
Hubler said faculty are inundated with information and tasks, which is why it’s useful for colleagues with more expertise to offer peer support. She said the biggest reward is knowing her work is ultimately contributing to better remote courses and improved learning experiences for students during a very challenging time. She said faculty now need to step back and assess.
“Take a moment to reflect on what is working well (and what might be less than successful) in your new remote classes, and adjust accordingly. Your learning objectives - not the technology -should be the primary driver of your course activities. Reach out to your colleagues, in-unit remote teaching experts, or the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Remote Teaching Peer Support group to talk about teaching.”
~ Theresa Hogue
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