Instructional Planning Task Force

For the academic year 2020-21

This committee provided recommendations for a structure and framework to support instructional excellence in the fluid teaching and learning environment of AY20-21. In the process of drafting these recommendations, the committee also solicited input from the broader A&S faculty community in order to build consensus. The primary goal is to address the near-term challenges of remote/hybrid education, but it is important to consider how these recommendations could also improve in-person teaching and learning in years to come.

The Arts & Sciences Instructional Practices and Policies for AY2020-21 have been formally adopted by the faculty and are available for review.

The College of Arts & Sciences has prepared a list of FAQs for the Fall 2020 semester.

Instructional planning meetings and materials

A&S Town Hall, 6/4

Instructional Planning Town Hall, 6/24

Instructional Planning Town Hall, 7/15

Instructional Planning Town Hall, 8/26

Instructional Planning Town Hall, 9/30

Instructional Planning Town Hall, 10/29

Demos of Technology for Teaching

Committee members

  • Co-chairs: Andrew Butler, Education; Jen Smith, Dean of the College
  • Amanda Albert, Instructional Specialist
  • Gaetano Antinolfi, Economics
  • Amanda Carey, Romance Languages and Literatures
  • Douglas Chalker, Biology
  • Geoff Childs, Anthropology
  • Eric Fournier, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Jessica Hutchins, Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences
  • Joe Jez, Biology
  • Peter Kastor, History
  • Ken Keller, A&S Computing and Technology
  • Anca Parvulescu, English
  • Martha Precup, Mathematics and Statistics
  • Megan Radcliff, Instructional Specialist
  • Alison Redden, Chemistry
  • Deborah Sinclair, Political Science
  • Andrea Urice, Performing Arts
  • Jeffrey Zacks, Psychological & Brain Sciences

Main issues and questions

Course Offerings
What courses will be offered in Fall 2020 and in what formats? Even with students on campus, what courses should be mostly or fully remote given social distancing needs? What courses should we prioritize holding in person? Are there courses we will not be able to offer?

Resources to Support Faculty
What courses (or types of courses) require targeted resources to support their remote incarnations (e.g., instructional designers)? A major consideration here is courses with learning objectives that are foundational to student experiences for majors, highly complex to implement remotely, and/or high-enrollment. How can we support all instructors in modifying their courses to prepare for a variety of instructional possibilities in Fall 2020?

A&S Instructional Policy
In order to support robust and equitable learning experiences, are there elements that should be common across all Arts & Sciences courses? (e.g., posting a syllabus and grades in Canvas, opportunities for synchronous learning, flexibility in grading scheme). The diversity among Arts & Sciences courses is a strength, but we must also consider the holistic experience of the student as they navigate multiple courses. What will it take to get all faculty adhere to any policy about required course elements?

Assessment of Instructional Effectiveness
How should we assess teaching in this new environment?

Vision for Fall 2020 and Beyond
What can excellence in remote and hybrid learning look like across disciplines and course types? What practices do we wish to highlight, encourage, support?