Remote Teaching Reflections: Lisa Sullivan

Posted on: April 10, 2020 Topics: covid-19, education, faculty, public health education, school news

On March 11, 2020 we learned that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Boston University would move its spring 2020 courses to remote teaching—starting March 16, 2020! Over a five-day period, our faculty and their teaching teams participated in trainings to learn new technologies, they practiced with colleagues, friends and family, they made course adjustments to better fit the remote teaching environment, and off they went. There really isn’t a word to describe the magnitude of this shift from on-campus to remote teaching—monumental, enormous – just don’t capture it. Never did our teaching faculty complain, instead they made the transition and are teaching over 100 spring 2020 courses at SPH remotely and with the same level of dedication to quality education as always.

For students, the shift is also unprecedented and complicated. Some are in different time zones, some are new to the technologies that are now part of our educational programs, and some are here in Boston self-isolating far away from their homes, families and friends. But, as always, our students are engaged and committed to learn the skills required to change the world—the reason they came to SPH in the first place.

Lisa Sullivan, associate dean for education and professor of biostatistics

At our school, student success is a top priority and we continue to offer support services to students remotely. This includes a range of wellness activities, remote peer coaching and tutoring, all managed through the Office of Graduate Student Life. Our Career and Practicum Office has also created FAQs to navigate practicum and job searches at this time of economic uncertainty, they are hosting virtual practicum host information sessions and holding drop-in sessions to answer questions.

Remote teaching is key to our educational programs now and potentially for some time. Our community has embraced the change, faculty, staff and students are supporting one another, and we will together come through this. It is truly a privilege to be part of this community so committed to excellence in teaching and learning.

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One comment

  1. Very impressed with everyone’s ability to implement and adapt to the online platform so quickly mid-semester! Time will tell when we’ll be able to safely and responsibly return to in-person classes, but I’m really looking forward to that day. Online courses are okay as a short-run stopgap, but definitely not a long-term solution or equivalent substitute for classroom learning IMO.

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