New resource responds to COVID-19 with guidance supporting faculty as they hone high-quality online learning practices

This new playbook helps faculty with best practices in online learning


New resource responds to COVID-19 with guidance supporting faculty as they hone high-quality online learning practices

The playbook comes at a time when some institutions have announced plans to open campuses in fall, while others have taken a wait-and-see approach. Multiple scenarios have been tossed around, including regular fall openings, all-online fall semester openings, and the possibility that students will return to campuses in the fall but will have to move back online depending on new COVID-19 outbreaks.

“While we hope that the public health situation improves and students are back on campus in September, most institutions are preparing for the need to offer a significant percentage of instruction in hybrid and online formats for the fall semester and maybe longer,” says Jessica Rowland Williams, PhD, director of Every Learner Everywhere. “Our faculty playbook provides just-in-time guidance from digital learning experts which builds on their decades of experience delivering high-quality online education.”

Developed by the Online Learning Consortium, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and Every Learner Everywhere, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the playbook provides a path for continuous improvement of instruction along a quality-oriented continuum.

• Design guides immediate and basic needs for moving a course online. It is useful for translation of face-to-face or blended courses for fully-online delivery.
• Enhance provides options to strengthen the student learning experience. It is useful for improving face-to-face course elements that do not translate easily to online modalities.
• Optimize offers ideas and resources for online teaching that aligns with high-quality, evidence-based instructional practices. It is useful for continuous improvement of the online learning experience and student outcomes.

In addition, Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19 addresses online teaching and learning in both emergency and non-emergency contexts, with special attention to course design, course construction, course management, course evaluation, and strategies for continuous improvement.

Every Learner Everywhere (Every Learner) is a network of 12 partner organizations that collaborate with higher education institutions to improve student outcomes through innovative teaching strategies, including the adoption of adaptive digital learning tools. The Every Learner Everywhere network includes Achieving the Dream, the Association of Chief Academic Officers, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Digital Learning Research Network, Digital Promise Global, EDUCAUSE, EdSurge, Intentional Futures, the Online Learning Consortium, SxSW EDU, Tyton Partners, and WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies).

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Laura Ascione