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This special edition of the LIFE Spring newsletter presents resources and opportunities to support you in your teaching practice as we navigate these unprecedented challenges. Inside, we share a brief faculty survey intended to capture your needs and how we can help, crowd-sourced resources to generate pedagogical ideas, a new reading group tackling pedagogical responses to a pandemic, and a very special version of LIFE Reads. We hope this edition finds you well, safe, and we look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with you - Learning Innovation and Faculty Engagement.




Academic Continuity

This semester we shifted our focus to prepare and connect the University with remote teaching and learning resources. We created the Academic Continuity Guide as a one-stop resource for faculty, designed the Getting Started Online course for students, addressed Assessments and Academic Integrity, supported the Learning Platforms' Live Technology Training Sessions and Blackboard Helpdesk, and continued to collaborate with partners and university stakeholders instrumental to educational transformation at the University. Tell us how we can help you further in our survey.



Our team led two rapid investigative 'Hot Teams' on emerging topics related to remote-teaching needs and the results focus on sharing use cases and relevant educational research to inform teaching practices. View previous white papers.


Digital Annotation Tools: Review electronic student submissions, directly provide personalized, detailed feedback on the assignment and invite students to have an active role within the feedback process. View the white paper.


Role Play & Simulations: Experiential strategies such as role play and simulations allow students to take on unique personas and engage in the classroom through complex problem-solving activities within course topics. View the white paper.

LIFE, in partnership with the Office of the Provost, launched the official Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) website to share a range of pedagogical resources related to the QEP’s three core methodologies: the Harkness method, flipped learning, and problem-based learning. View related remote teaching guidance here.




How Can We Better Support You?

We have created a brief survey in order to better understand your transition to remote teaching including what did or did not work, and how we can further support you. Your responses will help the design of appropriate resources and programming. Complete the survey.



Join our next Summer Faculty Reading Group where we will read 1-2 articles that fit under the theme, "Trauma-Informed Pedagogy." We will discuss remote teaching strategies, how to support students, and other emerging topics, on June 4, 11 & 18 from 2pm-3pm via Zoom. All faculty are invited to join. Please fill out our online form to register.


During the Spring semester we launched our first faculty reading group with nine educators from across disciplines and departments focusing on Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher by Stephen Brookfield. Read the book online through UM Libraries.



Inclusive Remote Teaching Strategies

To generate ideas for the upcoming semester that address the diverse needs of students, we’ve curated a brief list of teaching recommendations, approaches and resources.

Low-Bandwidth Teaching: DePaul University shares a multimodal guide to remote-teaching tools that promote asynchronous and low-bandwidth options.

Address Unequal Access to Technology, Hardware, and Software: Mapping Acccess shares tips including the creation of anonymous surveys, offering flexible alternatives, and making sure your online course is accessible.

Asynchronous Strategies: Brown’s Sheridan Center shares inclusive teaching strategies for asynchronous course design and examples of concrete activities and assignments.

Peer Mentoring 'Buddy System': Create a “buddy system,” where students can connect and check-in with each other in your course. Randomly assign students, or create a Google Forms survey for those that want to volunteer/participate. 

Alternatives to Traditional Exam-Based Assessments: Rutgers, Berkeley and Indiana University share their tips for remote exams and guidance to alternative approaches to these traditional assessments.

Gathering Feedback from Students to Improve Teaching: Rice University has shared an open-access formative survey with 10 questions for educators to capture student feedback on how course courses impacted their learning.

Collaborative Annotation of Assigned Reading: Social annotation tool Hypothesis recently shared a webinar with faculty speakers discussing how students can annotate and engage with readings for pre-class assignments. 

Culture, Belonging, and Well-Being: The Office of Institutional Culture has curated a set of resources, research and articles that cover topics such as being inclusive in Zoom teaching, ensuring accessibility of online courses, and supporting struggling students online.

Review 'Remote Teaching Strategies' for more ideas



Usually, our LIFE Reads section of the newsletter presents some of our current reading material as it relates to education, teaching and learning, and instructional design. For this issue, we've chosen to acknowledge our own attempts at maintaining some semblance of normality but sharing what we're reading (or watching or playing) outside of work hours during our downtime. Enjoy!



Matt - Director of LIFE

I'm reading Pastoralia by George Saunders and continuing my 452 day streak with learning Spanish through Duolingo.


Gemma - Sr. Instructional Designer

I'm reading Climate-Wise Landscaping: Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future , listening to The Adam Buxton Podcast and rewatching The Mighty Boosh.


Renee - Sr. Instructional Designer

I've just finished reading Rebecca Serle's In Five Years and listening to various podcasts deconstructing reality shows and comic books.


Aaron - Sr. Instructional Designer

I’m reading the memoir Una oveja negra al poder: Confesiones e intimidades de Pepe Mujica during my spare time, but mostly reading Dr. Seuss books with my daughter.


Amanda - Instructional Designer

Between reading Crucet’s My Time Among the Whites, I’m listening to the Original Broadway Cast Recording of "Hadestown" and I recently watched The Lighthouse.



View our curated list of critical community-driven resources and contributions from across higher education about rapidly moving to fully remote instruction.


Teaching and Learning Centers and Programs

Remote Teaching Resource List is a spreadsheet that features over 400 links to institutional webpages for remote teaching resources collected by Daniel Stanford, Center for Teaching and Learning, DePaul University.

Plymouth State’s Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative shared a quick start guide to focus teaching and learning goals during rapid transition to remote teaching.


Associations and Organizations

Association of College and University Educators (ACEU) rapidly prepared an online teaching toolkit.

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) Team compiled and updated a resource list to assist the field as we make the move to online courses.

The Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA) recently hosted a webinar on 'Employing Equity-Minded & Culturally Affirming Teaching Practices in Virtual Learning Communities'.


Open-Access Resources and Courses

The University Edinburgh and the University of Texas, Arlington have made available Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on blended and online education, informed by research and practitioner perspectives.

MLA commons recently announced a curated collection of reusable resources for teaching and research Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities.


Educator Perspectives

Sean Michael Morris, from the School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver, shared reflections on emergency teaching through A Pedagogy of Transformation for Times of Crisis and Critical Pedagogy in STEM.

Pandemic Pedagogy (Facebook Group) is a public group for educators to share practices, advice, successes, challenges, and research about converting to fully remote/online instruction during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.



Interested in collaborating with us on a project? The LIFE team consults with faculty, designs and delivers customized workshops, and supports faculty development initiatives on a variety of teaching and learning topics at the University of Miami. We can also:

  • create resources, assignments and other curricula assets,
  • provide evidence-based pedagogical guidance,
  • recommend meaningful application of technologies.
Contact us at

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