For the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs, 2020 brought some new challenges; a recently renovated UNIV curriculum and instruction that pivoted from in-person to online. With collective collaboration, open discussion and educator expertise, the office persevered and provided students in UNIV courses with the exceptional experience it is known to deliver.
Key to its success, the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs has always provided training to faculty and staff who teach UNIV courses. This year was no different. The office conducted their training in both synchronous and asynchronous formats to serve as an example of how educators could anticipate their virtual teaching experience.
“During our trainings we introduced new tools and approaches for online student engagement, as well as roundtable discussions about transitional issues and key themes that first-year students would be likely to experience,” said Melanie Griegoliet, assistant director for the Office of Orientation and First-Year Programs. “When we were not in training, some veteran educators served as mentors by sharing content ideas, tips and tricks with other educators through our Microsoft Teams groups, all with the determination to make the most of our fall semester.”
UNIV educators were not only well prepared for the start of classes, but also remained connected and engaged with one another throughout the duration of the fall semester.
“Our educators met monthly for departmental meetings, in addition to offering weekly virtual office hours to provide a space for them to learn from each other by asking questions and sharing ideas such as online games or engagement tools they had found successful,” stated Griegoliet. “Through these touch points, they repeatedly shared the consistent outreach they conducted with students to ensure they were set-up for success in UNIV as well as their other courses.”
In normal times, this professional support is exceptional. But during a semester unlike any other, UNIV educators went above and beyond Griegoliet’s expectations.
“They spent hours developing content for their ‘Educator Choice’ weeks, submitting Navigate cases to notify students’ academic teams of any concerns, coordinating interactive synchronous sessions, arranging guest speakers and providing thoughtful and concise feedback on each assignment,” said Griegoliet. “This group of educators could not have been a more empathetic, determined or accommodating group of people. It was a pleasure to collaborate with them this semester. Without a doubt, they prove that Huskies never quit.”
Below is as a list of the UNIV educators for the Fall 2020 semester: