Virtual Mini-Conference

Best Practices for Innovative Teaching and Engaging Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the fundamental work of our institutions, faculty around the world have had limited opportunities to showcase their teaching, research, service and scholarly pursuits. The University of Cincinnati will host a series of virtual mini-conferences highlighting the work that faculty at UC and our partner institutions are doing and/or the current challenges they are working to overcome.

Sessions will be 15 minutes long and pre-recorded. Presenters will be available during their session to answer Q&A in real time. 

October 29 | 7:30 - 10:00 a.m. EST

Sign-ups for the conference will occur on Eventbrite.

Presenters and Abstracts

Student engagement is crucial for a successful active learning experience. Flipgrid, a video discussion board (easily integrated with Canvas) has been an effective and engaging tool for student connection and conversation. In the transition of Spring of 2020, Flipgrid went from a supplemental activity to a fundamental application tool to further conversations, do testing, provide in depth discussions, and above all, maintain and strengthen student contact and community during asynchronous work time. For this presentation, I will share examples of Flipgrid, ideas for class activities, testing, presentations and suggestions of how this transformative tool can be integrated across disciplines. 

Headshot of Maria Ortiz

Maria Ortiz

Associate Professor - Educator of Spanish, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash

Dr. María Ortiz is an Associate Professor – Educator of Spanish at the UCBA Foreign Language Department. In 2020, she received the University of Cincinnati's Mrs. A.B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In response to massive disruption to practice work access due to COVID19, an innovative self-paced e-learning approach was set up to teach bench-top practice using comics: the “CoViBE’’ (Comic Virtual Bench-top Elearning). To design a CoViBE, you should (1) develop the following instructions: How to do/What to do/What not to do/What to ask, (2) provide flashbacks to remind what knowledge students need; and (3) include humor. Using online survey, we determined 80% of satisfaction. Finally, the CoViBE concept could be used in the future for practical work revisions, for the internationalization of distance work and for a hybrid education system.

Headshot of Corinne Faucheux

Corinne Faucheux

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, University of Bordeaux

Corinne Faucheux was recruited in 2002 as an Assistant Professor at the cell biology department of the Bordeaux University. She created several practical work sessions and recently set up an innovative approach to self-paced e-learning using comics.

Additional presenters: Aya Abou Hammoud, Nestor Pallares-lupon and Anthony Bouter

One of our transatlantic programs brings a group of students from Germany to the U.S. for a two-month study and internship program. Previously, the program consisted of a two-week summer school and a six-week internship with additional cultural events and social activities. Since the current pandemic made international travel impossible, we revamped our fellowship program and turned it into a digital certificate program with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. In our presentation, we would like to cover strategies to keep students engaged and discuss how we redesigned our program with a stronger focus on creative skills and career planning.

Headshot of Peter Rosenbaum

Peter Rosenbaum

Executive Director, University Alliance Ruhr

Peter Rosenbaum is the Executive Director the New York office of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), a consortium of TU Dortmund University, Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Co-presenter: Long Do Hoang, UA Ruhr New York Intern

Disrupting known teaching practices has been a real challenge this past semester for both students and teachers. Due to COVID-19, teachers have been challenged to implement and experience new teaching methods, evaluate and assess the student’s learning outcomes. 

Headshot of Hajar Iguer

Hajar Iguer

IT - Dean of Engineering School and Professor, Univerité Internationale de Casablanca

Hajar Iguer, a PhD holder and an Engineer in IT and Risk Management. A professor and the Dean of the Engineering School of Univerité Internationale de Casablanca (UIC).

Active learning promotes student engagement.  COVID-19 afforded not only challenges but opportunities to utilize technology to create a virtual learning environment where students could interact with classmates. Padlet facilitated such interaction through classmates sharing short videos, drawings and designs, and student-created infographics.  Several of these assignments promoted diversity, equity and inclusion topics as well.  For this presentation, I will share sample assignments on Padlet along with student feedback, and I will also discuss how these assignments (and others) could be utilized in other disciplines.

Headshot of Annette Redmon

Annette Redmon

Associate Professor of Business Law, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash

Annette Redmon is an Associate Professor of Business Law and the Program Director of Pre-Organizational Leadership with UCBA’s Business and Economics Department. She serves as Chair of the Contract Compliance and Education Committee with the AAUP-UC.

In June 2020, a 53-question survey was offered to the second-year undergraduate students of electrical engineering and computing at the University of Zagreb. Out of 197 students, 185 full responses were received. 21 questions pertained to the use of online medium for learning, and organizing additional educational activities related to economics and business, during the Covid-19 pandemic and when it is over. The students were also asked to provide feedback about existing practices, and share creative ideas and proposals for more modern and inclusive learning. The most interesting findings, and the statistical analysis of gender-related attitude differences, will be presented.

Headshot of Dubravko Sabolic

Dubravko Sabolic

Professor - Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb

Two doctorates: electrical engineering, and economics. Academic rank: full professor (adjunct), University of Zagreb. Since 2005 teaches microeconomics and industrial organization at all levels of study.

Difficulties accessing clinical practice, generated by the pandemic, led to an evaluation of different tools for teaching. At the Medical faculty of the Javeriana University, we chose the KuraCloud Lt platform as one of the most flexible tools for creating original clinical cases; allowing us to have videos, audios, images, and different types of laboratory tests. The versatility of the platform allows us to generate a collaborative environment, where the cases and resources developed by the professors are used by the entire teaching group of the Faculty. So far, 126 original cases have been developed for all medical subjects. 

Headshot of Ignacio Zarante

Ignacio Zarante

Professor, Undergraduate Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

PhD in Science and currently a Professor and medical geneticist at the School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Additional presenters: Julian Salazar, J. Andrés Cuestas, María Paula Aguilera-Pena

The popular 21st Century acronym, VUCA—Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, has touched every person on this planet—even those who had hitherto not experienced it, via the effects of the pandemic. For university students, when their face-to-face classes became online classes out of sheer necessity, VUCA was more perceptible and affected emotions. I had to borrow the principle of teaching at-risk students, i.e., providing structure, and apply it to teach all my final year preservice teachers in the “Sociological Perspectives of Education” course. In this paper, I would like to present the teaching strategies that I used with my students.

Headshot of Anita Rao Mysore

Anita Rao Mysore

Associate Professor - Teacher Education, Christ (Deemed to Be) University

Anita Rao Mysore is an associate professor at Christ University. She was an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, after obtaining her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Arkansas.

At the time Moroccan universities switched to online education last spring, my business statistics course for first-year students was about to begin a six-week market research project. In this lightning talk, I’ll discuss how we successfully conducted the project online. Students worked in groups with weekly teacher-led sessions for guidance to prepare research proposals, identify a population and sampling method, write and administer a survey, collect and analyze data, and prepare and present a final report. Key to the project’s success were clear guidelines, “to-do” lists that kept students on track, and weekly check-ins where students reported on their progress. 

Headshot of Pauline Finn

Pauline Finn

Professor - Business, Université Internationale de Casablanca

Pauline Finn is a professor of statistics and English as a foreign language at the International University of Casablanca. She is also currently a doctoral student in Literacy, Culture and Language Education at Indiana University.

Presenters will discuss how UC and UQAM have taken their successful joint social entrepreneurship program and enhanced and strengthened the learning outcomes and expanded its scalability by going virtual. This was done through an increased focus on group dynamics and product development and through the realization that by going virtual we can scale up both the number of participants and partner institutions. Social entrepreneurship is an excellent course topic to test virtual partnerships: it is interdisciplinary, if focuses on global issues important to students, and the final results are applicable across a wide range of disciplines and geographic regions. 

Headshot of Neil Choudhury

Neil Choudhury

Assistant Director + Adjunct Faculty, University of Cincinnati

Neil is an Assistant Director with the University Honors Program at UC. He has co-taught the joint seminar INTB3094 Social Entrepreneurship with UC partner Universite de Quebec a Montreal since 2014.

Headshot of Tobi Rodrique

Tobi Rodrique

Co-presenter, Universite du Quebec a Montreal

After obtaining a BA.A in international business, Tobi worked for P&G in Canada before returning for his PhD at the Universite de Quebec a Montreal (UQAM). He is a former student and 8-year participant of the Social Entrepreneurship course.