(updated March 25, 2020)

Get up to date information about Macalester’s response

Health and Wellness: Response to COVID-19

Check out Remote Teaching and Learning

This site contains tips to help faculty move their courses online, including broad suggestions about remote pedagogyadvice on scheduling, and strategies for translating specific in-person activities to an online environment. For further assistance, we invite faculty to get in touch with us, and to attend workshops and drop-in sessions run through the DLA and Serie Center. Faculty can also sign up for a Moodle site dedicated to conversation and link-sharing about teaching online,

The shift to virtual: Pedagogical implications and technology resources

As we continue to make changes on campus in response to the spread of the coronavirus, we want to emphasize that this is an important opportunity to be in community and to think collaboratively about the kind of mobilization efforts we need – and are capable of – not only now, but also for other current, emergent, and future challenges or crises we are facing or might face, together. At the bottom of this page are links that offer important context about racism and xenophobia in the face of this public health crisis; what are some other “teachable moments” afforded by this particular situation?

I recently shared some additional perspective about the current moment in which we find ourselves on our listserv. This is definitely a chance to be our most deeply human selves: flexible, patient, kind, and creative. Please extend that to yourself, to your students, and to everyone else around you.

It is useful to think through the pedagogical implications of shifting our classes into a virtual space. What learning goals and assessment strategies might need to be adjusted? What might it mean to think in terms of “learning time” rather than “class time”? How can we best maintain a sense of community in a virtual format? How can you maximize opportunities for meaningful engagement among the students, with the course content, and with you as the instructor when you aren’t physically together?

Suggestions, techniques, and evidence-based strategies for maximizing effective online engagement and learning

Many schools have developed practices and policies for shifting or adapting teaching in the event of an emergency or other unexpected event. Indiana University offers a range of helpful guidelines and strategies. Members of the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) offer some useful perspective and a range of resources for shifting to online in a hurry / under duress. 

If you learn of discipline-specific or other recommendations that would be useful to share in this space, please send them to Joan Ostrove (ostrove@macalester.edu).

Moving fine arts courses to a virtual space

Moving laboratory courses to a virtual space

Access, additional support, and equity considerations

  • If you know of a student who does not have access to a device that could support the use of Zoom or other relevant technologies, or on which they can write papers or otherwise reasonably do their work away from campus, please encourage them to contact the ITS Help Desk (651-696-6525). The Help Desk will also assist students who will not have access to reliable wifi.
  • Disability Services at Mac acknowledges the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online learning models. In collaboration with campus partners, they are building a set of resources and useful information on their Disability Services Faculty website.  Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g., students who use assistive technology, have vision- or hearing-based limitations) that may uniquely impact their learning. We are continuously working on how to provide comprehensive online access for all students. The staff are available to collaborate with you and support the transition to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained (please contact them at disabilityservice@macalester.edu with any questions or concerns).  It is quite possible that even with this accelerated timeline for shifting to virtual teaching, the tools you learn will continue to be part of your instructional access in the future.
  • Moving classes online: Build in accessibility from the beginning (late-breaking advice from Disability Studies professor Aimi Hamraie)
  • The MAX Center counselors are ready to help your students. Faculty can contact MAX Center professional staff with any questions and concerns. Please tell students not to contact MAX Center tutors directly for remote or in-person tutoring assistance; instead direct them to the Max Center website. As our services change, we will update the site with the services we can provide.

  • You may find that the virtual environment offers students who don’t typically participate in class discussion, for example, a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. Please keep track of what you learn from this shift, in case there are strategies that could be implemented to maximize inclusivity and engagement in the “regular” classroom context.

Assessment strategies and concerns

Attending to context: Additional resources and perspectives