Cape Breton University History Professor, Dr. Scott Moir, says his eye-opening experience with CBU’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has helped him prepare for the upcoming semester of online teaching. Dr. Moir proudly signed up for the CTL’s University Teaching Program (UTP), which was designed to help faculty understand the online learning environment, adapt their teaching methods and transform their existing courses into fully online learning experiences.
“The early decision to go online-only at CBU in the Fall has given us a real advantage in terms of preparation and planning,” says Dr. Moir. He says the learning experience will ensure the transition to online education in the Fall is seamless for both students and faculty. For Dr. Moir, the most beneficial aspects of the UTP were the series of instructional videos, tutorials and resources, the training offered through live and self-directed modules and discussions and the information that allowed him to discover new techniques that can be incorporated into his classes for years to come.
One additional thing Dr. Moir found very helpful was the sense of community amongst the faculty. “No one was required to be there, and yet the vast majority of faculty suddenly seemed to be online all at once even though this is the time of year everyone would be on their own working on their research,” explains Dr. Moir. “We were working hard together to make this work well for our students; the collective enthusiasm and energy was infectious and the dedication was inspiring.”
Dr. Moir is one of many CBU faculty members that are preparing to ensure all CBU students will have a positive experience with online-learning. According to Dr. Moir, part of this process is making sure faculty members are familiar with the technology, and what exactly it can do. “We also had to work through how to structure an online course to meet students where they are,” shares Scott. “Topics we discussed together include open source textbooks, synchronous and asynchronous classes, student confidence in accessing their professors, student awareness of the many CBU resources available to them and more.”
The most important message Dr. Moir wants to share with incoming students is that the professors, instructors, librarians and all staff at CBU are here for you, and you will have the opportunity to form personal connections even while studying online. “This is one of the key promises that CBU always makes and delivers on, and that is not going to change this fall,” explains Dr. Moir. “All of us are working really hard to educate ourselves and rebuild your courses from the ground up so that you get the best experience possible.”