Level C view | Characteristic
Thinking fast about the future of Instructure’s collaborative education
Q&A with Maikel Alendy from FIU Online
Every higher education institution on our planet has experienced this: the rush to adjust all of our business and academic processes in ways that help us survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each institution experienced the start of the pandemic differently. Each institution had its own challenges and each had its own degree of preparation.
But we all had one thing in common: the pressure was high, to be nimble and to be smart about the choices we had to make in such a short time frame.
Now, while we are not yet free from COVID-19, many institutions and technology market leaders are addressing the next big questions: what is the future? Which of the changes we are making during the pandemic should accompany us in the future?
Most agree we will not be going back as we were. Related discussions take place both informally and in professional associations or in higher education and Kindergarten to Grade 12 event vehicles, such as the Future of Education Collaborative of Instructure.
Here, CT chats with Maikel Alendy, an instructional design manager at Florida International University, who will be part of the panel at a collaborative event on the future of education to be held online later this year. week.
“I think when professors, these brilliant investigators of truth and creators of knowledge, combine these qualities with a passion for giving learners the tools to feed their families and provide for their communities, higher education does what higher education is supposed to do. “ âMaikel Alendy
Marie grush: If you look, in general, at the response of higher education to the pandemic, the Zoom meetings have played a particularly important role in bringing courses online where they never existed before. We often hear statistics about the incredible growth in Zoom use in higher education institutions, once we were all in the pandemic.
What was your approach to the FIU? Have you relied heavily on Zoom? Were you able to use your existing Canvas course sites? What worked for you and to what extent was it already in place at the FIU?
Maikel alendy: Our Director of Learning Design and Innovation at FIU Online, Gaby Alvarez, likes to use a word that I believe was the basis of our strategy for navigating learning during the pandemic – this word is ecosystem.
Our approach, like many, was to leverage Canvas and Zoom, but we had a few processes in place that really gave us a good head start. First, we had piloted Zoom years before and had already deployed Zoom Pro accounts for all teachers and students at the FIU. Of course, the initial adoption was nominal. The use was correct for the “BC” (Before COVID) instruction. Still, it was helpful, once during the pandemic, that we already had support materials and some knowledge of the tools.
cringe: What else did you have in your ecosystem? Was that enough?
Alendy: In addition, we had already set up, thanks to the initiatives of our provost’s office and the leadership of the acting deputy vice-president of FIU Online, Lia Prevolis, to associate each section of the FIU course with a shell Canvas. This meant that we already had a process in place where Canvas shells were created for each course taught at CRF and students enrolled in that course were also enrolled in the corresponding shell regardless of modality.
Now, all of those things were in place in 2020. However, that just wasn’t enough. The suddenness and systematic progression of this global pandemic were too disruptive for well-designed plans to prevent overwhelming effects on education.
The suddenness and systematic progression of this global pandemic were too disruptive for well-designed plans to prevent overwhelming effects on education.
cringe: What could you have done in the face of this? I know you finally prevailed …