|Susan E. Metros
Associate Vice Provost and Deputy CIO
University of Southern California
Emergency preparedness is a topic that every institution is addressing, including how to continue classes if students cannot physically come to campus or if the campus is shut down for an extended period of time. Past experience indicates that undergraduates taking general education (GE) courses are most affected. The shear numbers of enrollments in GE courses also negatively affects the institution if it has to refund tuition because there is a disruption in its ability to operate.
This project briefing will describe an idea of how to engage students where they are, while waiting out a disaster. Faculty will be able to assign a cathartic activity that directly relates to the GE topic and, at the same time, respond to the crisis at hand. This solution requires that information technology professionals and librarians work together with faculty to provide students with a suite of “literacy skills” and access to quality content related to their GE topic. Students would then chronicle their experiences through a traditional paper/presentation or as a digital storyteller, citizen journalist, or service learner. This solution is not institution specific; every higher education institution in the country (and world) should develop a plan to continue learning under duress.
This project briefing will bring attendees together to further explore these activities and look for ways to build the governance, infrastructure, and learning components to pilot this idea.