How TxDLA is Preparing to Keep Connecting in Times of Crisis

TxDLA Keep Connecting: Episode 1

TxDLA Keep Connecting webinars are led by distance learning experts providing a toolbox of immediate needs to our members and the distance learning community during this time.

This conversation focuses on the different perspectives related to the rapid transition to online courses. For those of you working in higher ed, remember to keep the instructors and students in mind  while adhering to current policies and procedures.

Guest Panel

  • Randy McDonald, EdD, Director of Learning Design and Distance Education, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Patricia Ritschel-Trifilo, PhD, Director, WBU Online, EIRAC, Wayland Baptist University
  • Michelle Singh, PhD, TxDLA Board Chair, Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning Technologies Division of Information Technology, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Charlene Stubblefield, TxDLA President-Elect, Executive Director, Center for Instructional Innovation and Technology Services (CI2TS), Prairie View A&M University

Accessibility from the Student’s Perspective

  • Use Google Slides or Powerpoint for live captioning
  • Make sure students have good support
  • Send text messages to students to keep them aware.
  • Make sure there is a way for them to call, text, or chat.
  • Make sure instructors add contact information in each course.
  • Students like to see people. Maybe instructors put up a video to talk to the students.
  • Make sure they understand course navigation.

How to Help Faculty

Conversation begins at 14:00

  • Differences of faculty skills
  • Understand where they are coming from. Some faculty have nothing online.
  • Analyze staff to determine who needs additional information.
  • Provide 1:1 video conference sessions for faculty support.
  • Start with the easiest steps first to get early small wins.
  • Conduct a faculty preparedness survey.

From the Administrator’s Perspective

Conversation begins at 26:00

  • Remember to look at your policies and procedures.
  • Make sure the path forward is accessible.
  • Security is important.
  • Look internally first before making a purchase. What is something that you are already paying for that you can use.
  • Communication within organization is key.
  • Use data analytics to help make decisions.
  • Check your DIR contact.
  • Think long term. Is this path sustainable? What will a free resource cost long-term if we implement it?
  • Online students need the same access to resources that face-to-face students have access to.


The TxDLA Keep Connecting webinar series is sponsored by i2i Technologies. New episodes currently scheduled for Tuesday and Thursdays at 11:30 AM Central. 

If you need help transitioning to a simple, flexible, and dependable video communication solution, we can help.