All Aboard! Getting Faculty Mobilized for Emergency Online Teaching

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Patrick A. Lach
Lisa M. Russell
Robin K. Morgan


This reflective essay describes steps taken by Business faculty in a U.S. Midwestern mid-sized regional university to assist faculty in making the rapid transition to 100% online teaching. These steps include the development of an online course template within the university’s course management system made available to all faculty with tips and video tutorials specifically tailored to business courses. The coronavirus pandemic forced faculty members at institutions across the world into teaching online in about two weeks. Many tenure-track professors and full-time instructors, who were required to complete extensive training prior to teaching online courses, were relatively well-prepared. In spite of this training, some instructors felt overwhelmed when the pandemic forced an immediate transition online. Adjunct instructors and some junior faculty were particularly affected. Consistent with the conservation of resources theory which suggests that individuals conserve their limited resources (e.g., time, money, etc.) to ensure availability when they are most needed, many instructors, particularly adjunct and junior faculty, were constrained by competing demands. Adjunct instructors often teach limited courses while maintaining full-time employment in their respective fields. Junior faculty also have limited resources due to service and publishing demands. The availability of a special online course helped these vulnerable faculty members make the rapid transition to emergency online teaching. This reflective essay also describes the results of a survey about this transition among both faculty and center for teaching and learning (CTL) staff. Lastly, we recommend strategies for CTLs and academic departments to prepare for future crises. “Deputizing” power-users in each academic unit to redistribute workloads during emergencies and sharing tips and tricks customized for their departments is one such strategy. Creating annual online training modules is another strategy to allow seamless transition to unexpected online teaching.


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How to Cite
Lach, P. A., Russell, L. M., & Morgan, R. K. (2021). All Aboard! Getting Faculty Mobilized for Emergency Online Teaching. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 10(1).
Reflective Essay