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Welcome Back: Planning, Structure and Innovation Go Into Reopening for Fall 2020

By Annette Finley-Croswhite


COVID-19 has affected most if not all aspects of our individual lives. Many of us have been amazed at how a disease has altered our everyday existence, changing our routines and challenging our patience. For some, the realities of COVID have generated increased anxiety, especially as we worry about loved ones who may be near or far away. And undoubtedly our professional lives as teachers have been turned upside down as we have moved to an online environment. As researchers many of us have faced particular challenges. This past summer was one of the few in my professional life as a scholar that I did not spend in archives in Europe.

The fall will bring more challenges. Soon we will be back at it, most of us teaching online but some of us teaching onsite. This edition of FacSheet includes: interviews with a few of the faculty who will teach face-to-face courses because of disciplinary needs; an article on assessment in the online environment; and an article about a Women's Writing Forum that was designed to mitigate the impact of COVID on loss of time for scholarship. Other articles explore faculty success, innovation, and concern for LGBTQ+ students.

We don't know what the contours of Fall 2020 will bring to Old Dominion University. We have no crystal ball, but there are a few certainties. We are a community of dedicated teachers, scholar-teachers, staff, and administrators committed to the creation of safe and healthy learning and working environments. As teachers we have embraced new pedagogies and strategies for student success, developing more flexibility and compassion along the way. As scholars many of us have learned to "pivot" and approach new research topics, strategies or agendas because of COVID, or stay the course and maintain focus. There is much to celebrate as we move into the fall, even though the future will undoubtedly bring more challenges. Below is a list of useful resources tied to reopening and teaching in the fall.

Welcome back, we hope you feel supported, and we encourage you to contact the Center for Faculty Development if you feel you need individualized help. We may not know the answer to every question, but we surely can steer you in the right direction.

ODU Blueprint for Fall Reopening

ITS Remote Teaching Resources

CLT Keep Teaching Site

Department of Human Resources Return to Campus Guide

Center for Faculty Development Website with articles, resources and modules to help you prepare for online courses

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