Special Issue: Higher Education and COVID-19

If you use any material from articles that have appeared in the Working Paper series and need to cite it, please use the recommended citation which is at the bottom of the first page of each article in an issue. Please contact  butler-advance@purdue.edu if you have any questions.

  1. Empowering Faculty to Teach Online from the "Bottom-Up": An Online Course Design Institute
    Charmion B. Rush
    Western Carolina University  
    For many faculty in higher education, we have been apprentices of face-to-face learning and course structure. However, most of us are not familiar with online course design. Yet alone, moving courses to an online platform within the midst of a pandemic. This article presents the efforts a mid-sized regional university in the southeast provided for their faculty to navigate the challenges of constructing and implementing courses online. Through a six-week online workshop, expert faculty and lead facilitators assisted novice faculty to delve into topics pertinent to their teaching practices. Using a bottom-up approach, faculty sprang into action to quickly migrate their entire curriculum online during these unprecedented times. This proposed article will include 1) the experiences/best practices of guiding faculty through the process; 2) an exploration of the provided structure faculty received to moving courses to an online platform; 3) as well as recommendations for other instructions to prepare in the practice and application of online course design.
  2. Reflecting on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Higher Education
    Salome C. Nnormele
    Ohio University
    “Change” rarely occurs easily inside the academe.  Although, we encourage students to think creatively and take risks, the culture of higher education seldom rewards those values within its cadre of faculty.  To succeed, many instructors inhabit a comfortable pedagogical space that gives them the most opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge. Consequently, until the Covid-19 crisis, few instructors had achieved proficiency in using digital resources in the classroom. Yet, within a space of two weeks, most faculty found themselves completely immersed in the digital delivery of their course content.  Several months into the pandemic, with higher education still struggling with its response, I reflect on the challenges and opportunities created by the experience.  
  3. Understanding the "New Normal": The Internationalization of Education and Study Abroad during the COVID-19 Era
    Nathan W. Swanson and Natasha T. Duncan
    Purdue University
    What is the future of study abroad in the COVID-19 era? Given measures required to curb the spread of the coronavirus without vaccines, possibilities of a “new normal” that includes previously high levels of student mobility seem grim. Still, analyzing survey responses of 717 students enrolled in short-term and/or exchange study abroad programs at Purdue University about their attitudes toward program cancellations and future study abroad prospects, the authors find program leaders can begin planning for next year. While sad, longing, and even angry that 2020 programs required cancellation, students are sanguine about studying abroad in the future, despite the current global crisis. Accordingly, even as COVID-19 produces “new normals,” administrators and program leaders should not assume a reversal in long-term trends of increasing study abroad participation or a significant retreat in this aspect of globalization in higher education.
  4. Experiential Learning from Home: The impact of COVID-19 on field based practices 
    Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, Cézanne M. Elias, Megan L. Purcell, and Natasha D. Watkins 
    Purdue University  
    The COVID-19 crisis forced immediate and sweeping changes on the educational approaches at Purdue University. Faculty struggled with moving course content to online platforms. However, in professional preparation programs that require experiential learning, the migration to digital instruction was fundamentally more complicated. Community partners and organizations, where students were engaging in field-based learning, also changed their service delivery to digital or virtual platforms or closed their doors temporarily or permanently. This paper details how faculty leading field-based programs used various approaches to ensure effective learning, practical application, and continued professional growth of students when field-based work was dramatically altered. Additionally, faculty explore long-term implications for how professional preparation programs provide these experiences. 
  5. Conducting Research during COVID-19: An Assistant Professor's Perspective 
    Amisha D. Shah
    Purdue University
    The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the first experiences of my life where a global crisis has affected me so personally. This crisis has truly tested my resolve and made me question how advanced assistant professors, such as myself, will be able to see through it, especially when trying to conduct research while knowing that time is not a luxury. Several challenges clearly exist in how to recruit and retain students, acquire research funds, and conduct science especially as an experimentalist. To meet these challenges, we must allocate resources to initiate forums where research active personnel can create an open dialogue, provide research students and staff with proper transition assistance, and actively allocate research dollars towards virtual lab design and artificial intelligence.
  6. E-Mentoring: Building and Sustaining an Online Mentoring Community for Black Women 
    Ashley Huderson, ASME; Chrystelle L. Vilfranc, University of Cincinnatti; Dominique Carter, USDA Office of the Chief Scientist
    The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted how students engage with teachers and peers affecting professional development, especially mentoring. These impacts are exacerbated for Black Women in STEM, a group marginalized prior to the COVID’19 pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the impact of building and sustaining online mentoring communities for Black Women in STEM, during pre and post COVID’19. This paper explores the importance of online mentoring communities and how they influence Black Women’s success in STEM fields. This paper aims to dismantle “One-Size- Fits-All” mentoring programs and allow for strategies that specifically target Black Women. 

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