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Center for Teaching Excellence

Welcome to the Center for Teaching Excellence! Learn more about our history and values, meet our staff, see our upcoming events, find support for your faculty or graduate careers, celebrate your teaching, and solicit feedback on your teaching. Learn how to best teach and learn at Duquesne with a wide range of resources

Resources for Instructional Continuity 

To support shifts in our teaching and learning experience, please see the following DU resources:

Another great teaching and learning resource is the K. Patricia Cross Academy video library, which hosts a searchable library of informative videos about teaching techniques that might inspire you or help you address some current dilemmas. The videos are short (2-5 minutes) and contain written supportive materials. 


With the instructional continuity plan announced by the University, please be aware that these changes affect both the instructor and the students in a variety of ways. Duquesne faculty are inspiring and creative teachers dedicated to student learning, and this is an opportunity to discover what some colleagues really love about alternative methods of instruction. Working together and sharing resources and ideas is what makes the Duquesne instructional community ready for this.

While many will be focused on the technical aspects of transitioning to remote teaching and learning, it is imperative to also be mindful of the emotional and cognitive load that some will encounter.

As Jamiella Brooks, at the University of Pennsylvania, wisely reminds us: 

Right now there is a cognitive demand being asked of all of us. Whether stressed by preparing to teach remotely, worried about housing or food insecurity, concerned about vulnerable family members, concerned about immuno-compromised and high-risk individuals--et cetera, many of us have a lot more of the "outside world" impacting our daily work. 

And that's okay. 

One important thing we can all do right now is to neither ignore what is happening, nor misrepresent the impact as something that can be singularly defined. We are all impacted differently, and opening up as to how this is impacting you, personally, while inviting students to do the same, is a way to humanize this experience. "Students, I've never taught a class online before, so please be patient with me as I will be patient with you," is a great way to start, for example.

This patience also needs to extend to recognizing vulnerable populations during this unprecedented time. It is important for all of us to be clear that there is no room for microaggression, xenophobia, or racism and to continue to stand with those who may feel marginalized.

In the next few days, we encourage you to

  1. PRIORITIZE what do students really need to know for the next two weeks? These are not normal circumstances, so give yourself permission to let go of some things. 
  2. Be TRANSPARENT:  Communicate what, how, and why you are structuring the class in this transition and do so frequently
  3. Start with some low stakes assignments to give students and yourself time to adjust to this new mode of instruction. Excellent low stakes activities that still measure student learning include Minute Papers, Student Generated Test Questions, Brain Dumps, and Discussions (there are so many ways to use discussions, but read one strategy for increasing engagement). Read more about low stakes classroom assessment techniques. . 
  4. Reconsider your expectations of student work - this is new for lots of us, especially first year and first generation students

Don't forget to remind yourself and students of campus resources:
Wellbeing Center
Psychology Clinic
Campus Ministry
Writing Center
Educational Technology
Online Learning and Strategy

We at the Center for Teaching Excellence will be available to you during this time. We are happy to meet with you via Zoom, telephone, or on campus.

wooded path with trees reaching toward blue sky

Check out The Flourishing Academic. This multi-voice blog features posts on teaching and learning by CTE staff and peer leaders. Please visit often, comment actively, and teach enthusiastically!