Sacramento State to host virtual summer camp for faculty

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With online classes set to continue into the fall semester, Sacramento State University is hosting a virtual summer camp for faculty where they will learn about best practices to improve virtual teaching.

The Teach ON!-line Summer Camp will be open to as many as 800 faculty in June, according to the university, and over the course of three weeks will provide faculty with resources, guidance, and information to help them convert existing classes into online or blended courses and enhance the virtual experience for students.

“In March, faculty had just a few days to take their classes online and do the best that they could,” Crystal Sims, who will serve as the Teach ON!-line camp director, said in a press release. “But now, as we can be more intentional, how do we take those valuable interactions they had with students in the classroom, and move them online? Faculty want the support. They really want to know how to do it well.”

The program will be lead by “camp counselors,” faculty who are experienced in online instruction, who will be available throughout the training to mentor participants.

So far, nearly 500 tenured and probationary faculty and lecturers have signed for the program, according to the university.

“Teach ON!-line will provide me with the opportunity to really focus on the best practices of virtual teaching and help me better manage Zoom sessions,” Tim Fong, professor of Ethnic Studies, said in the release. “I have taught hybrid and paperless classes for years and was always on the cusp of teaching fully online. Spring 2020 forced the issue. A real outcome of COVID-19 might be that online delivery becomes the new normal for colleges and universities across the nation.”

The program is being funded with $1 million in federal funding that Sac State received from the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by congress in March. Faculty who complete the program will also receive $1,000.