The University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus was well prepared to adapt to online learning amid the nationwide response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“The collaboration across all of the USF campuses, among staff and faculty and here on this campus, has been tremendous,” E-Learning Services Associate Director Timi Hager said. “I think everyone feels we’re all in this together. It’s been inspiring.”
As Florida’s public colleges and universities, including the University of South Florida, shifted to remote learning this week after Spring Break, USF Sarasota-Manatee was among those providing a smooth transition to students.
Led by Hager, the E-Learning Services team not only completed necessary technical adjustments, but also provided practical training to prepare faculty and adjunct instructors to lead their online classes. Additionally, the team reached out to students to ensure they were able to access the classes. The campus’ 200 faculty and adjunct instructors are providing about 350 remote-learning classes.
Helping in this effort is the fact that USF Sarasota-Manatee excels at online learning to accommodate students’ busy schedules. At any given time, 40-60 percent of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s classes are offered online. E-Learning also provides faculty with online instructional certification under the Quality Matters program. Dozens of faculty have completed the certification course.
The campus provides two online-learning options: real-time synchronous instruction for live audio and video communication and asynchronous instruction, which permits students to complete assignments at their own pace.
Working day and night and on weekends, E-Learning began laying the groundwork for the online transition four weeks ago.
“We’re in really good shape and that’s a result of the hard work of our team and the cooperation and collaboration of our faculty and staff,” Hager said. “Everybody here has been focused on helping our students so they can continue their education and earn their degrees.”
Learn more about USF’s coronavirus response by visiting https://www.usf.edu/coronavirus/index.aspx.
For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit http://www.usfsm.edu.