Our Plan for the Pandemic

For the latest University communication on COVID-19-related planning, please see the Steadfast and Resilient website.

At Saint Mary’s, we want all of our instructors to be prepared for the challenges of teaching during a pandemic. In Spring 2020, our efforts were focused on emergency remote teaching to keep our classes going, but the futurepresents new challenges and new demands for course designs that are tuned to best practices in online education.

For some instructors, that will mean teaching courses designed to be fully online for the first time. At the Undergraduate College in Winona, we need to adopt a teaching model that brings face-to-face instruction into compliance with social distancing requirements and allows a rapid transition to fully online courses if the need arises.

We know that our instructors care deeply about our students and their education as well as their safety. We care about the safety of our instructors too. At CELT, we are going to be ready to provide you with the resources and partnership you need to give student the best educational experiences they can have in a tough time.

In all these interactions, we also want to urge everyone to observe standards of Netiquette.

The parts of our plan for teaching during the pandemic are as follows:

Online Instructor Certification

For the first time, Saint Mary’s is offering a certification for its instructors in the best practices of how to teach fully online courses. These three, four-week asynchronous courses are led by someone who has trained thousands of instructors to teach online and will develop your comfort and skills in teaching online. Click here to learn more and register for the certification.

CardinalFlex Instruction (Undergraduate College)

CardinalFlex is a modified version of the HyFlex model that is designed to respond to the challenges of teaching face-to-face during the pandemic. It emphasizes a flipped classroom approach, use of online tools for all assignments and assessments, and class participation for students attending both face-to-face and virtually. Additionally, it allows for a rapid pivot to online teaching if the need arises.

Dive into the details with us here.

Essential Online Courses (SGPP)

Since almost all SGPP courses will be taught fully online this fall, CELT is working with the Learning Design Team to offer a Blackboard template with all of the essential elements of an online course that meets industry standards for quality. Instructors just need to fill it in. This template will be released in mid-July and Program Directors can request that it be copied into instructors’ courses so they can build their own fully online course. Instructors will have early access to these Blackboard shells so they can work on putting their content and learning activities online.

To complement this effort, CELT is working to create instructional videos on how to use the template as well as offering workshops to help instructors create learning activities tied to course learning goals.

Canvas Training

As soon as we get users into Saint Mary’s new Canvas Learning Management System, we will start helping people get trained on all Canvas has to offer. We will offer:

  • Enrollment in a self-paced online course for those who want to learn at their own speed
  • “Fundamental Features” webinars for those who want to learn more from a live human being
  • Course Migration workshops for those who want to start work on migrating their existing courses to Canvas.

The CELT Canvas page will be the new source for all things Canvas-related. So make sure to add it to your bookmarks or places you regularly visit!