Feature Friday: An Online Teaching Success Story (Kristen Shrewsbury)

Posted on: November 13, 2020

In March of this year, JMU faculty were faced with an unimaginable task. They needed to move all their courses online in a week and a half so that students could leave campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty made this enormous transition while juggling upheaval to their personal and professional lives. 

JMU Libraries staff sprang into action to support faculty and students through the transition to online learning. We created online guides, hosted workshops on lecture capture and other topics, and answered thousands of chat questions. 

Over 300 faculty enrolled in our summer Online Learning Institute.

Kristen was one of those faculty. Kristen Shrewsbury is an assistant professor who teaches in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program. She describes her experience in the Online Learning Institute this way: 

A screenshot from Dr. Kristen Shrewsbury's online class as she presents live in the lower right.

A screenshot from Dr. Kristen Shrewsbury’s online class.

“The Online Learning Institute took me from basic, surface knowledge to a place where I am creating and delivering high quality content in an efficient and organized way. 

“The course challenged me to think about how my course objectives might stay the same, but the learning interventions online might benefit from a revision. 

“The institute’s module on assessments guided me to being able to employ real-time feedback loops that allow for a deeper appreciation of how the students work, how the assessments perform to measure student learning, and how to lay out expectations early and clearly. 

“Jessica Lantz and Juhong Christie Liu gave useful feedback that affirmed my progress through the content, and their willingness and availability for online consultations kept me from getting stuck. I have received unsolicited compliments from my online students. 

“Resoundingly, the hard work I put into engaging the excellent libraries institute really shows and is returning a high yield on my investment.  

“In a world where resource lists hit our inboxes every day, I highly recommend the JMU libraries Online Learning Institute to get what you need in a tight, expertly curated course.”

Kristen’s students noticed the difference:

“This class by far has the most engagement out of all of my courses. I also feel the most connected to the other students and professor in this class because I communicate with them during class.” McKenna Mitchell, senior

“The class is honestly one of my most structured and organized classes I take here at JMU. I know that COVID-19 was something very unprecedented, but Dr. Shrewsbury has been the most understanding, organized, and goal-oriented professor I’ve had during this season.” Ana Velez, sophomore

TESL 426 is the best online class I have taken. Dr. Shrewsbury started the class with an introduction setting clear and empathetic class expectations. It helped me and other students going into the class by alleviating anxiety and uncertainty surrounding school in general. The asynchronous classes has the perfect balance between reading and video. Lastly, thank you for having synchronous classes. Frequent break out rooms and group works helped me keep a sense of community.” Seri Bell Ha, senior

Faculty and students, we are here to support you. As JMU moves toward online learning after Thanksgiving, we encourage faculty and students to take advantage of all the help JMU Libraries has to offer:

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