Getting Ready

Welcome to ReFocus Online

Setting up for ReFocus Online

To prepare for ReFocus Online, we encourage you to complete four tasks before engaging with the website or joining virtual sessions:

  • Set 1-2 professional goals for your ReFocus Online experience

    Identify 1-2 goals you hope to achieve by engaging with ReFocus Online. To get started, take some time to reflect on your move to remote teaching this spring:

    • What lessons did you learn about yourself, teaching, and learning during Spring 2020?
    • Where did you have successes supporting students and their learning? Why?
    • What do you wish you had known more about to better support teaching and learning in online platforms? Why?
    • How would you like to reimagine and refocus your practice in the fall and beyond?
  • Identify a focus course

    To get the most out of ReFocus Online, select one course you will be teaching this fall to serve as a ‘home base’ for playing with new ideas and strategies.

    Review your course outcomes and objectives. We will talk a lot about aligning your course design decisions to the broader outcomes you want students to achieve.

  • Set up a Canvas 'sandbox course'

    ReFocus Online demonstrates how faculty can use UMW-supported technology tools to meet their course design needs. Canvas serves as the university’s learning management system (LMS) and will be the platform most utilized in our sessions. All faculty can set up a ‘sandbox course’ to play and learn about the platform’s features without impacting an existing course shell.

    To set up your own ‘sandbox course’, follow these simple directions for starting a new course and get ready to play!

  • Become familiar with trauma-informed teaching principles

    We are teaching in unusual times. We and our students are experiencing and responding to current events in different ways, but it is all informing how we approach our shared work in classes. Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices (via Syracuse University) shares how safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment incorporated in course design supports students—these principles will be echoed throughout ReFocus Online.

Participating in ReFocus Online

ReFocus Online offers three opportunities for participation:

  • Website resources for self-directed learning
  • Weekly, 90-minute interactive workshops
  • Weekly hour-long Q&A sessions

You can find a list of upcoming events on our calendar.

Website Structure

Welcome A video introduction and overview of the weekly topic and its relevance to online course design
Framing Background information about the topic, including strategies for online course design
Faculty Models Videos, screencast tours, and other resources from UMW faculty showcasing their online course design strategies
Take a Shot! Links to ‘how-to’ resources for building an online class using UMW-supported technology tools
Workshop Links to all Interactive Workshop recordings and materials
Resources A summary reference list containing all citations and online resources provided on the page

Interactive Workshops

Note: Attending interactive workshops or viewing the recordings meets the professional development requirement for online teaching approval for Fall 2020.

90-minute interactive workshops will be held weekly and recorded for later viewing on the ReFocus Online website. Interactive workshops are scheduled for the following dates:

Session 1 (2:00pm-3:30pm) Session 2 (10:00-11:30am)
Course Structure and Communication Monday, June 15th Tuesday, July 14th
Assignments and Feedback Monday, June 22nd Tuesday, July 21st
Content Creation and Curation Monday, June 29th Tuesday, July 28th
Student and Instructor Engagement Monday, July 6th Tuesday, August 4th

Interactive workshops require prior registration. Please see the Registration page for more information.

Q&A Sessions

Weekly Q&A sessions will last one hour and give faculty an opportunity to brainstorm ideas with the larger campus community. The only agenda is your questions. Q&A session links will be sent out in the ReFocus Online News update each week. Registration is not required.

Q&A sessions will be held during the following days/tiems during Session 2:

  • July 16th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • July 23rd, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • July 30th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • August 6th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.