CEHS instructors get creative to deliver remote teaching

Love Library in the Spring
Photo Credit: University Communication

CEHS instructors get creative to deliver remote teaching

09 Apr 2020    By Haley Apel

When the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln announced all courses would transition to remote instruction beginning March 30, instructors in the College of Education and Human Sciences were faced with a daunting task: continue to support and advance the educational development of students without delivering in-person coursework.

Never a group to back down from a challenge, CEHS instructors swiftly got to work developing new lesson plans, adapting syllabi and watching crash course how-to videos for using Zoom and other technologies.

“Supporting people is in our DNA in the College of Education and Human Sciences, and we’re proving that during this challenging time,” said CEHS Dean Sherri Jones. “I could not be prouder of how the CEHS community rallied together to adapt coursework and support our students through this transition.”

Below is a snapshot of just a few of the unique ways that instructors across the college have responded to the shift to remote teaching and learning.


Clinical instruction through simulated cases 

When the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic closed for the safety of patients and personnel, speech language pathology faculty turned to a program called SimuCase. SimuCase allows for the use of simulated cases to meet competencies in the clinical practice of students. The program is already approved by the national accrediting agency for use in student training.  

Before the coronavirus pandemic, faculty were already piloting the use of this program thanks to a college-level grant written by lecturer Katie Brennan. When the transition to remote learning was announced, faculty quickly formed a cohesive, flexible and unified plan for getting students simulated hours.  

Using SimuCase, students create lesson plans and develop treatment plans. According to Kristy Weissling, associate professor of practice, this software, in addition to guidance from clinical faculty, allows students to continue to develop important decision-making skills.

“Forward-thinking through the piloting of innovative technologies, college-level technology grants and dynamic teamwork culminated in continuity of clinical instruction for our speech language pathology graduate students,” Weissling said.


Course content adapts to new realities

Issues found in the hospitality industry are a primary focus of HRTM 474 Food & Beverage Management. During a normal semester, the first few months include discussions on industry issues the students might face in their careers, and after that student projects highlight the future outlook of the industry and how they can contribute to upcoming trends.

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to present hardships for those in the hospitality industry, assistant professor Ajai Ammachathram, decided to face the situation head-on and adapt his course accordingly. Now, student projects will address how COVID-19 has affected these already-existing issues, and what potential recovery will look like.

“Despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought the hospitality industry, we’re trying to take advantage of this as a learning experience,” said Ammachathram.


Service-learning goes virtual 

In Carrie Hanson-Bradley’s CYAF 382 course Working with Parents, students learn about the complexities of parenting through service-learning. With students no longer able to complete the required in-person hours with community partners, the assistant professor of practice went to the drawing board and came up with a virtual alternative.

In a newly developed blog, students post activities, links to fun and educational resources, and original content for parents to use to ease their challenges during this pandemic. The blog is in its infancy but there’s already activities and resources such as a recipe for three-ingredient play dough and a book explaining coronavirus to children.

“We only have one week’s worth of projects up, but I love seeing the creativity of the students,” Hanson-Bradley said.


Technical skill captured on video

Removing the live patient interaction component from the athletic training program is no easy feat. The nationally accredited program is built around hands-on instruction and learning opportunities.

“We had to make sure students would still learn something, plus meet the standards of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education,” said Dennis Perkey, assistant professor of practice in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences.

To ensure the students are able to meet those standards, Perkey and his colleagues are relying on video to evaluate technical skill during different therapeutic exercises.

Prior to leaving campus, students were given rolls of disposable athletic tape. As an assignment they are asked to video themselves in their place of residence, taping the wrist or ankle of someone they live with. The instructors then grade their knowledge and skillsets by watching the uploaded video. This scenario-based format adheres to the new flexible standards of the accrediting agency.

College of Education and Human Sciences
Child, Youth and Family Studies
Nutrition and Health Sciences
Special Education and Communication Disorders