Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Innovations in Teaching During a Pandemic

"Behind the Blue" Graphic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2021) — Last March, as the country began to come to grips with a global pandemic, University of Kentucky officials made the decision to move all classes to online formats.

Thousands of classes and courses sections were moved — in two weeks.

In the last year, significant investments have been made in technology to help facilitate a combination of different formats for learning and classes — online and remote, in-person, hybrid and other teaching methods such as synchronous and asynchronous learning. In some ways, the pandemic has hastened a conversation around the different ways — and the best ways — students learn, particularly since our students have grown up with sophisticated technology at their fingertips.

To discuss trends in both technology and teaching, "Behind the Blue" talked with experts on campus who are exploring what’s new in these fields as well as what works best for students and faculty when it comes to learning.

Kathi Kern is a professor of history, the director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching and associate provost of Teaching, Learning and Academic Innovation at UK.

Emily Croteau is a lecturer in biology at UK who is interested in learning about best methods and practices in teaching biology, which includes using real-life examples to demonstrate how relatable biological concepts are to our lives.

Matthew Wilson is an associate professor of geography at UK and a visiting scholar at Harvard. He co-founded and co-directs the New Mappings Collaboratory, which studies and facilitates new engagements with geographic representation.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.