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For information and resources related to BlendFlex and Remote instruction, please refer to UCF Keep Teaching (for faculty) and UCF Keep Learning (for students) pages. Additionally, be sure to review Our Promise to Support the UCF Community and see how everyone at the Division of Digital Learning is here to support our Knights.

Faculty likely have questions about how remote and flexible teaching will be approached. The questions and answers below are shared to help faculty better understand how remote and flexible teaching and learning will be supported continuing into the Spring 2021 semester.

All faculty teaching courses with face-to-face components should develop a plan to migrate to 100% remote instruction should that again become necessary. All courses are expected to revert to 100% remote instruction following the delayed spring break on April 11-18.

I am scheduled to teach a course with on-campus components. How can I accomplish this flexibly?

We are recommending that faculty employ flexible strategies that will comply with social distancing within rooms, ensure that students still meaningfully participate in a face-to-face experience, cause minimal disruption to faculty preparation and practice, and allow for a rapid pivot to a fully remote delivery should that again become necessary.

Monday

Lecture 1

Cohort A
(Cohorts B & C remote)

Monday
Wednesday

Lecture 2

Cohort B
(Cohorts C & A remote)

Wednesday
Friday

Lecture 3

Cohort C
(Cohorts A & B remote)

Friday

A recommended strategy is called BlendFlex. Here is how it would work:

  • For any typical instructional week, the class would be split into smaller cohorts that satisfy physical distancing requirements in the assigned space. Students would only be permitted to attend one in-person class meeting per week. For example, in a class that typically has 100 students enrolled, 33 students would physically meet on Monday, 33 would meet on Wednesday, and 34 students would meet on Friday. See the illustration above.
  • When not in a physical class, students would “attend” the balance of the weekly instruction remotely either synchronously (live) or asynchronously (recorded).
  • For very large sections or those with a twice-per-week meeting schedule, students may need to be split into additional cohorts and limited to a once-per-every-other-week in-person meeting schedule in order to comply with social distancing guidelines (somewhat similar to the CBA RA/REAL model).
  • Students cannot choose which day to attend in person—their only option is their assigned cohort day. Should students choose to not attend on their assigned day, that is their prerogative, within faculty attendance requirements.
  • Faculty could utilize the same syllabi and lesson planning (each cohort is a sub-part of the actual course section). Faculty will need to take care not to inadvertently disadvantage remote students by ensuring that each cohort has equally meaningful face-to-face experiences throughout the term.
  • A real-time video feed and/or a recording of each class session will be available to those students not in the classroom on a given day. Faculty will need to record their sessions or work with the Office of Instructional Resources to set up Panopto’s auto-recording capability.

Additional details can be found here. The Division of Digital Learning provides a 1 hour short training course for BlendFlex delivery. Faculty may join this course at https://webcourses.ucf.edu/courses/1358354.

A variation on this strategy is called HyFlex, which does not divide classes into cohorts and puts the decision of whether or not to attend any class meeting in person on the student. This strategy may require faculty to enforce classroom occupancy limits, if too many students decide to attend in person on any particular day.

In all cases, faculty must have a plan for pivoting to 100% remote instruction, if we are again required to do so.

Do I have to use the BlendFlex strategy?

No; however, whatever strategies you employ must ensure that students have remote access to your course content and you are prepared to pivot to remote or online instruction if that is required during the spring semester. If possible, the use of BlendFlex  should be a decision made at the faculty/department level. Please discuss your plans with your department and college leadership and ensure that you participate in the appropriate faculty development/training.

If you do not use a BlendFlex/HyFlex model to teach your course with face-to-face components, you must ensure that you comply with social distancing within rooms, ensure that students still meaningfully participate in a face-to-face experience, allow students who may need to quarantine or self-isolate to continue participating, and allow for a rapid pivot to a fully remote delivery should that again become necessary.

I am scheduled to teach a fully online Web-based (W) or mixed-mode (M) course. What do I need to do?

If you have not already completed the IDL6543 course to develop online and mixed-mode courses, you will need to identify an existing course design in your modality and have your department arrange for your enrollment in ADL5000. More information and enrollment forms are available at https://webcourses.ucf.edu/courses/1358354.

I am scheduled to teach a course that normally has face-to-face components; however, it needs to be converted to 100% remote. What do I need to do?

If the course is planned to be fully remote, it will be coded with the V1 (Video Remote) modality label to differentiate it from courses that will have some face-to-face components. This will ensure that students have appropriate expectations for course attendance and participation. If you plan on using a synchronous delivery strategy, your course modality will be V and you must maintain published class meeting times, even remotely.

You may prepare for teaching in V1 or V modalities by completing TLC-z.  This one-week online non-credit course is designed to help prepare faculty to teach remotely with Webcourses@UCF and Zoom. It includes information related to pedagogical, logistical, and technical aspects of teaching at a distance from your students. TLC-z is primarily self-paced and will be offered as a lightly facilitated, one-week cohort for faculty who want to migrate or build face-to-face course elements of classroom instruction for synchronous remote delivery using Zoom or asynchronous video on-demand using Panopto. The skills and technologies addressed in this course also support class delivery using the blendflex attendance strategy.  Check with your department to see if you are scheduled for enrollment and the date of the next cohort. The assigned course modality will change to a video-based modality if there are no in-person class meetings.

What if I have already completed IDL6543?

If you have already completed IDL6543, you are credentialed to teach both W and M courses. You have the option to convert your class to a fully online W version, especially if you plan to pre-record lectures and use a completely asynchronous delivery strategy. In this case, add the following note to the class schedule in order to preserve tuition support for VA funded students:

“This class section has been converted to a fully online W format in response to the COVID-19 crisis”.

If you intend to make extensive use of Zoom recordings or if you want to simply migrate your planned classroom/blended courses into a 100% synchronous remote delivery, you should complete an abbreviated self-paced Zoom Essentials program focused solely on the effective use of Zoom. You may also participate in the full TLC-z program if you wish.

Has TLC-Zoom replaced TLC? Or do they co-exist?

They co-exist. Both TLC courses overlap in that they cover how to use the learning management system (LMS: Webcourses@UCF/Canvas). However, as their titles indicate, they each focus on the use of a different video platform.

If I am teaching remotely, do I have to teach synchronously via video (Zoom) or can I pre-record lectures for asynchronous delivery?

You may do either, unless you receive guidance from your college with specific expectations. However, be sure to clearly communicate your expectations to your students. If your remote sessions are scheduled and synchronous, your class will be considered a V modality course, even if you have completed IDL6543.

IMPORTANT: if you do elect to hold synchronous video class sessions, they must be conducted during their regularly-scheduled times listed in the UCF class schedule.

What is the definition of the V modality? What is V1?

The definition has recently been updated to the following: V courses are online with extensive use of digital video, which may be supplemented by additional online activity, projects, or exams.  Video may be in scheduled class meetings with real time participation, or asynchronously via video on demand.

V1 is a new, temporary modality that denotes our current remote teaching environment. It has the same definition as V, but does not charge the Distance Learning Fee.

All modality definitions can be found at: https://cdl.ucf.edu/support/student/modalities/

What is the difference between V courses and V1 courses?

The definition of the delivery expectations are the same (see above question). The difference is in the application of the Distance Learning Fee.

V modality courses do charge the Distance Learning Fee. However, courses that would normally be on campus without a Distance Learning Fee (P, M) that must now be taught remotely will be coded as V1 (Video Remote) and will not be assessed the Distance Learning Fee.

Will there be another offering of Essentials of Online faculty preparation program?

Yes. This online program has been offered since Summer 2020 as a higher-enrollment, temporary substitute for IDL6543. The program provides the basics of online pedagogy for asynchronous instruction, integration of media, and management of assignments and interactions. Effective online video teaching strategies for remote instruction are also addressed. Following successful completion, participants are awarded a permanent credential to design, develop, and teach V courses and a one-year provisional credential to design, develop, and teach W or M courses, and a $500 stipend. Essentials of Webcourses@UCF is a basic pre-requisite for Essentials of Online Teaching. The initial outcome of the program is for each participant to complete development of three modules (i.e., 3 weeks,) and a course completion plan by end of EOT. Faculty may submit their finished W or M course for a course design Quality review, and if the course design receives a Quality designation, their provisional online W/M teaching credential will become permanent.  If you would like to participate in Essentials of Online Teaching, please start the conversation with your department chair.

Note: The Spring 2021 EOT session will run for 5 weeks starting 2/8/21.

Do I have to conduct the remote sessions at the same time that they are scheduled or may I pre-record lectures for asynchronous delivery?

You may do either, but be sure to clearly communicate your expectations to your students. If your remote sessions are scheduled and synchronous, your class should be scheduled as a V or V1 course. It cannot be considered a W modality course, even if you have completed IDL6543. Please communicate whether the course will be synchronous or asynchronous to the Registrar’s Office, along with any planned remote meeting patterns.

IMPORTANT: if you do elect to hold synchronous video class sessions, they must be conducted during their regularly-scheduled times listed in the UCF class schedule.

What about the Distance Learning Fee? Will students be charged?

The Distance Learning Fee will only be charged for the modalities where it is normally charged (W, V, RA, RS).

If courses are offered with face-to-face class sessions and retain an appropriate modality (P or M), students will not be charged the Distance Learning Fee.

Courses that would normally be on campus without a Distance Learning Fee (P, M) that must now be taught remotely will be coded as V1 (Video Remote) and will not be charged the Distance Learning

Are there specific expectations regarding course activities?

As faculty, you have broad autonomy in how to conduct your courses. The Center for Distributed Learning has a team of instructional designers, media producers, programmers, artists, and others who can consult to help you make your course the best experience possible for both you and your students. However, there are some minimal requirements that all courses must adhere to, such as:

  • Compliance with copyright laws
  • Compliance with student accessibility laws
  • Compliance with federal regulations regarding “regular and substantive” interaction between faculty and students
  • Adherence to best practices in course design and delivery

CDL is available to assist with any of these topics and more.

Can you summarize the different trainings and requirements?

Please refer to CDL’s professional development information at: https://cdl.ucf.edu/teach/professional-development/ 

You can also download and review the Training Comparison Spreadsheet.

What about proctoring? What tools are available?

Please follow this link to review UCF’s remote proctoring options. For questions about their implementation and use, please contact Webcourses@UCF Support at webcourses@ucf.edu or 407-823-0407.

Proctoring: https://digitallearning.ucf.edu/newsroom/keeplearning/#proctor