In This Together DC: Update on CAFE activities

As part of our In This Together DC email series, today’s update will share with you details about ongoing Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (CAFE) activities.

CAFE is currently supporting academic schools across Durham College (DC) as they adapt their courses and programs for remote delivery.

New program development also continues as scheduled, including:

  • Site visits in April and May to support the approval of two honours baccalaureate programs.
  • Three proposals for DC certificate programs scheduled for the June Board of Governors meeting.

Program reviews have been condensed due to the pandemic. Comprehensive program reviews (CPRs) for 25 programs on the 2019-2020 roster have had the deadlines for their final CPRs extended to November, while CPRs for 22 programs have a deferred fall 2020 start with a spring 2021 deadline for final reports. Annual program reviews are suspended for 2019-2020.

The 18-month update to the College Quality Assurance Audit Process was approved in April, noting DC’s progress towards our recommendations and affirmations. Twenty temporary program of study changes were supported to adapt programs for remote delivery. In addition to these program changes, the CAFE is supporting faculty as they pivot their courses for remote delivery. Our metrics between mid-March and mid-May are as follows:

  • 23,940 visitors to the CAFE website.
  • 77 new resources including instructional videos, documents, webpages.
  • 124 professional development sessions.
  • 124 faculty and staff in the online faculty Community of Practice.
  • 1,460 eLearning requests supported.

New tools, and resources to support their use, were recently introduced including the Virtual Classroom, Video Assignments, Annotations in DC Connect as well as Respondus Monitor. To date, the CAFE held 17 professional development (PD) sessions focused on Virtual Classroom and Video Assignments. The Virtual Classroom has had 5,634 meetings and the Video Assignment tool was used 223 times over the past two months.

Some of our new resource spotlights include:

The CAFE launched a new workshop series focusing on teaching, engaging, and assessing students in a remote environment. Topics include planning remote delivery, facilitating discussions, assessments and rubrics, choosing appropriate educational technology tools, student collaboration, and ensuring online instructional presence.

We are revising the new faculty orientation that will be delivered remotely in the fall, and will focus on the tools needed to teach, engage and assess students in face-to-face and remote environments.

I’d like to thank faculty for completing the CAFE survey. Your responses will inform our future PD sessions and resources as we look ahead to the fall. We’ll communicate upcoming PD opportunities and new resources in the CAFE Monthly, as well as on our website.

In closing, a huge thanks to all faculty for touching base with us directly, as well as reaching out to your colleagues in the online faculty Community of Practice, to share your ideas and approaches. It has been inspiring to hear about your creative practices as you work with your students and colleagues!

Jean Choi,
Dean, Teaching, Learning and Program Quality
Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment