Reflecting on the Joint Academic Senate/ Administration Retreat on Online Learning, Part 1

The UC Davis joint Academic Senate and Administration retreat on online learning was a full-day event on Friday, May 17. We gathered in the ARC Pavilion at 8 in the morning, where Professor Paul Gepts, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter, Senate Chair Bruno Nachtergaele, and Academic Council Chair Bob Powell kicked off the day with introductory remarks.

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Their welcomes and introductions were followed by a series of presentations by faculty and staff who have been actively involved with UC Davis’ hybrid and online initiatives:

  • Arnold Bloom and James Carey gave us a preview of the online courses (Global Warming and Terrorism & War, respectively) they developed and have been teaching this year;
  • Rosemary Capps from The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning talked about the Provost Hybrid Course Award;
  • Bob Blake discussed his work with hybrid and online Spanish courses;
  • Liz Applegate described the online elements (such as lecture capture) she uses to enhance her 600-student nutrition course;
  • Linda Behrens showcased the work UC Davis Extension has done with online education, speaking specifically of Jim Shackelford’s work;
  • Peter Yellowlees, who has been teaching online since 1998, described his work with health informatics;
  • Kirk Alexander discussed the initiative;
  • David Levin provided an overview on MOOCs; and
  • John Owens described his experience developing a parallel programming MOOC with Udacity.

A video recording of these presentations will be available on .

The day progressed with a series of breakout sessions. We first met to reflect on the morning presentations and discuss how we felt UC Davis should approach online and hybrid education. Then we split into topic-specific groups—I took part in an interesting conversation about assessment—and finally we split into SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis groups. The results of the dozen SWOT analyses were compiled into a spreadsheet; Provost Hexter made it clear that this feedback would be considered as UC Davis makes plans for future online learning initiatives.

If you were also in attendance, please post your thoughts about the day! If you were unable to make, we welcome your questions.

You”ll also find a more detailed summary of the topics that were discussed throughout the day in Reflection on the Joint Academic Senate/Administration Retreat on Online Learning, Part 2.

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