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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Academics & Research

Power-On website to help faculty, students for upcoming semester


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

While the University prepares for a primarily remote semester, the Power-On website has been launched to assist students and faculty with online classes.

Power-On is an online learning site that provides information, resources and support services. The program was released on July 1 and is separated into two sections for faculty and students called Power-On Learning and Power-On Teaching. 

“The onset of the pandemic during (the) spring left us little time to transition from face-to-face classes on campus to remote teaching and learning,” said UH senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short in a news release.

“Understanding this fact, a team of faculty and staff from across the University has been developing a comprehensive training program, Power-On, that will help both faculty and students prepare (for) Hyflex and online course delivery this fall,” Short added. 

Power-On Learning for students offers online learning tips, online students success workshops, learning tools for online, how to improve internet connection at home, online tutoring services and access to Counseling and Psychological Services. 

The platform also has a laptop loaner program for those who do not own a computer. Students are able to complete a request form through the Power-On Learning site.

Although there are a limited number of laptops, they are not on a first come first serve basis.  

“Many of our students have counted on our computer labs and campus internet, but right now they can’t,” said associate provost for Education Innovation and Technology Jeff Morgan.

“Our goal is to make sure every student has the opportunity to continue their education in the safest way possible,” Morgan added.

The Power-On Teaching section assists professors with translating face-to-face teaching, learning outcomes, training videos, course materials and assignments, class discussion, objectives into online learning, maintaining an engaging online presence and organizing and sharing course materials online. 

The program makes faculty feel like the whole UH community supports their teaching and their desire to transform what was an “emergency online” course in the spring, into flexible, high-quality courses, according to executive director of Faculty Engagement and Development in the Office of the Provost Lacey Schmidt. 

“We are trying to make it as easy as possible for faculty who don’t have much online teaching experience, but also give something to faculty who are incredibly advanced with online teaching,” Schmidt said 

UH faculty will be participating in specialized training sessions that will explain the essentials of online pedagogy, learning objectives and big-picture design, as well as delivering and streaming lectures. 

Faculty always do better with training that’s by them and for them, according to Schmidt. 

“We encourage students to look at the teaching site and faculty to look at the student site too,” Schmidt said.

“Faculty and students get more out of each semester the more they understand what is available and happening from each others’ perspectives, and this kind of compassionate awareness on our campus is what makes UH such a powerhouse of public learning.” 

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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