ReFocus Online News-Week 4 (July 6th edition)

Welcome to Week 4 of ReFocus Online: Engagement!
  • Website
    The Week 4 webpage is now open and full of information to begin designing for engagement in your online classes. Other than updates during Round Two, the website is now fully open and will remain so through the summer.
  • Week 4 Interactive Workshop
    The link for today’s workshop has been sent out. Please check your email and we’ll see you at 2:00!
  • Week 4 Virtual Q&A
    This week’s Virtual Q&A will occur on Thursday, July 9th from 9-10 AM

    • A link for the Virtual Q&A will be sent out Wednesday afternoon by 5 PM. Registration is NOT required for the Virtual Q&A sessions.
    • A form to submit questions ahead of time will be available on the ReFocus Online website (via the ‘Submit Q&A Questions’ button) beginning this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
  • Consultations with Center for Teaching and Digital Learning Support
    Consultations are the best way to get your questions answered and explore options for your online classes. We are using an online appointment system–just choose the center you wish to work with and select an available day and time.
    While our units are doing their best to respond to emails in a timely manner, please be aware that we may ask you to schedule a consultation if emailed questions require more discussion to better understand your needs.
And now we’re on to Round Two!
During Round Two, Interactive Workshops are Tuesdays, 10-11 AMMeeting links will be sent to all registrants on Monday afternoons by 5 PM. This is a change from Round One, so adjust your calendars accordingly if you are continuing with us!
Registration for Week 1 (Round Two) Interactive Workshop will open at 3:30 p.m. today (7/6) and close this Friday (7/10) at 5:00 p.m. Please visit the ReFocus Online website and click on ‘Register for Workshops’.
The following concurrent sessions will be available–please select one when you register:
Core Session: Course Structure and Communication (Victoria Russell, Center for Teaching and and Jerry Slezak, Digital Learning Support)

This session will review basic information for setting up an online course in Canvas using weekly Modules and creating communication channels with students across different UMW-supported tools. It is recommended for any faculty member, but especially anyone who has not taught online before or only during remote teaching in Spring 2020.
Creating an Accessible Syllabus (Jessica Machado and Danielle Smith, Office of Disability Resources)
This session will cover aspects of creating an accessible syllabus in Word through a live demonstration of how to build an accessible document using a UMW faculty member’s syllabus and remediating it so that it is accessible for individuals who use assistive technology. We will also lead a discussion around creating an accessibility statement in your syllabus and share helpful resources to support you in this work. Q&A will follow if time allows.
Checking Your Biases Behind the Screen: Thinking through Effective Communication with Students (LaWanda M. Simpkins, PhD—Independent scholar and Founder & President of Creative Justice, Inc.)

Teaching in general requires not only being intentional about the material that you prepare but also the audience to whom you are preparing it for. Teaching from behind a screen elevates this preparation especially when you factor in personal biases that we each have. This session will explore ways that faculty can think about the whole learning experience but most importantly the whole learner with whom they are engaging with.

We hope you all have a good week!
Center for Teaching and Digital Learning Support
Dr. Victoria Russell
Director-Center for Teaching
Associate Professor-College of Education
University of Mary Washington

Twitter: @techtweed