In the fall of 2020, the CALT website is featuring updates from law professors about how their institutions are responding to the challenge of teaching during a pandemic.
At the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Common Law, planning for the move to fully remote learning started last spring. The Faculty convened a team of staff and professors with experience and expertise in online pedagogy to “lead the charge” to online learning, and support professors transitioning to online teaching. That team put out a survey to assess the needs and concerns of faculty and help establish priorities.
We hired a team of student “tech fellows” available to meet one-on-one with professors to provide specific support on the technical aspects of online teaching. The Faculty also hired a dedicated specialist in Educational Development and Digital Learning, who is available on an ongoing basis to assist faculty with questions of pedagogy and how to make best use of the online tools available to us. We dedicated one of our virtual faculty retreat sessions in August to universal design, where we had expert presentations and discussions about how to ensure that our online teaching materials are accessible to all. An institutional Zoom license was acquired by the University, so most of our classes are happening via the Zoom platform, though some colleagues are using Microsoft Teams.
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