LfA Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of commonly asked Learn from Anywhere (LfA) questions including several curated via the June 17, 2020 Zoom information session hosted by the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), Educational Technology, and Learning & Event Technology Services (LETS). Please note: The list of questions and responses will be updated frequently. Stay connected and revisit for updates.
LfA Pedagogy FAQ
What is Learn from Anywhere (LfA)?
Learn from Anywhere (LfA) is a blended modality for remote and/or in-person learning for Boston University residential students attending an undergraduate or graduate program of study. This new modality will enable students to participate in the classroom or remotely whenever necessary.
As described in BU Today, the aim of LfA is to present the same academic content to all students, whether they are in a classroom, in a BU residence, or in another country, and to allow all students to take part in equivalent learning activities.
When will the LfA model be in effect?
The LfA model will be implemented Fall 2020.
What type of support can faculty expect?
The LfA model will be supported via the Center for Teaching & Learning, Educational Technology, IS&T/Learning & Event Technology Services, as well as LfA Faculty Coaches, Classroom Moderators, and Classroom Technology upgrades.
LfA Faculty Coaches
The role of a LfA Faculty Coach is to provide a decentralized model of training and support and serve as a guide to his, her, or their cohort (the faculty members assigned to each coach) throughout the summer and fall semesters. The role of the LfA Faculty Coach is as follows (Note: A comprehensive list of Faculty Coaches to be provided via this site on Friday, July 17, 2020):
Advise faculty within their cohort (the faculty members assigned to each coach) on relevant pedagogical approaches and technological needs for LfA model
Point faculty to appropriate resources within CTL, EdTech and other related units
Direct faculty to appropriate training opportunities within CTL, EdTech and other related units
LfA Classroom Moderators
The LfA Classroom Moderator is intended to be a facilitator of remote student engagement via Zoom, assisting the faculty member to handle the simultaneous and remote modality. They are also expected to provide first-line support for classroom technology. See below for additional information.
What LfA guides are currently available?
The Center for Teaching & Learning is developing a series of dedicated LfA guides. As we continue to build these resources, the following guides possess useful material related to teaching in the remote environment. In addition, please visit the “Pedagogical Partnerships” Blackboard site to find more materials related to teaching in the LfA environment.
Digital Learning & Innovation aims to support faculty in providing continuity in high quality learning experiences for BU’s students during times of campus closures. In support, the Center for Teaching & Learning prepared this guide to help faculty ensure educational continuity. Access the guide.
The remote-teaching period presents challenges and opportunities as you think about assessment design and learning objectives for your class. Learn more about your choices and the support available to you for designing online assessment tasks. Access the CTL guide.
Many of the strategies used for student engagement in face-to-face classes can be modified for use in the online environment. Get tools to convert pedagogical approaches to remote teaching from BU’s Center for Teaching & Learning. Access the guide.
The Center for Teaching & Learning offers guidance on how to make learning more accessible, foster a more inclusive learning environment, and prioritize self-care when moving course materials online. Read more.
The Center for Teaching & Learning and BU Chemistry Department offer guidance specifically for STEM faculty. This resource provides strategies to plan for labs, offers tips to reproduce classroom work in an online environment, and highlights tools to address accessibility issues. Access the guide.
The Center for Teaching & Learning & BU’s College of Fine Arts offer guidance specifically for the Arts community. This resource outlines strategies to enhance the classroom experience, tips to build community, the power of online presentation, and more. Access the CTL guide.
Flipping synchronous sessions—repurposing your usual ‘lecture time’ to address questions and do more in-class discussions using the Zoom break-out rooms feature—allows for more flexibility during class time. Read these tips for flipping your synchronous online session. Learn more.
What role does the Pedagogical Partnerships Blackboard site play in LfA information sharing?
In addition to the LfA Faculty Resource site, CTL created a new Blackboard site, “Pedagogical Partnerships” to support faculty in their varied teaching and learning journeys. The site is intended to host resources that represent the breadth and depth of teaching at Boston University—including information related to the LfA model. Please note: The site is a work-in-progress — you will see new resources and fine-tuning in organization from time to time. Please browse the contents of the site through the sidebar menu.
How do I access the Pedagogical Partnerships Blackboard site?
All Boston University faculty are enrolled in “Pedagogical Partnerships” and should be able to access the Blackboard site using their BU credentials. You can find the site in your list of Blackboard courses. If you are not enrolled in the site, please contact email@example.com and request enrollment.
Where can I find the June 17, 2020 LfA Information Session recording?
Utilizing your Boston University credentials, faculty can access the LfA Information Session recording via the Pedagogical Partnerships Blackboard site here.
Questions or Comments?
The Center for Teaching & Learning is available for consultations and questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
LfA Classroom Moderator FAQ
What are LfA Classroom Moderators?
The LfA classroom moderator is intended to be a facilitator of remote student engagement via Zoom, assisting the faculty member to handle the simultaneous and remote modality. They are also expected to provide first-line support for classroom technology.
Who is eligible to request a LfA Classroom Moderator?
The Criteria for LfA classroom moderators is as follows:
Faculty teaching on campus
Has 20+ students
Does not have a TA (see definitions below)
Takes place on the Charles River Campus, Fenway Campus, or, is a specified School of Public Health or Graduate Medical Science class on the BUMC campus
How do faculty request a LfA Classroom Moderator?
Faculty should fill out the following form located here. Please submit your request by July 15th. Due to the accelerated nature of this initiative, we need requests in as soon as possible. After July 15, efforts to match you with a moderator will be best effort. (Faculty who have submitted a Workplace Adjustment Request Form and are waiting for resolution on that request may have until July 27th to submit their requests.)
Who can apply to be a LfA Classroom Moderator?
All students, undergrad and grad, are encouraged to apply to be a moderator. We encourage you to spread the word to your students by pointing them here. Students can apply by clicking “Please click here to apply” right underneath the Classroom Moderator heading. Our team is actively exploring different avenues to raise awareness about this opportunity. We would be happy to work with people at the college level to create a targeted message that would resonate with their students.
Can I get a LfA Classroom Moderator that is discipline-specific and/or fluent in a different language?
No, the role of the LfA classroom moderator is not designed to have domain expertise. The primary role of the moderator is to ensure that remote students who have questions and comments can effectively interact with the class by assuring that they are recognized by the faculty member and given the floor when the faculty member is ready for them. The secondary role is to assist faculty with any classroom technology issues.
IS&T Client Services and Support has posted a job description with student employment and is aiming to hire and train several hundred moderators. The moderators will be selected based upon their general technical, communication, and client support skills. Specific schools and colleges will not be involved in this hiring, as we are not hiring moderators specific to any particular college or school.
We will develop a number of pedagogically sound, yet flexible, protocols for this interaction to take place and will train moderators accordingly. We will also communicate to faculty the ways in which they can interface with moderators in class and will make faculty training available. For example, moderators can instruct remote students to digitally “raise their hand” on Zoom when they have questions and agree with faculty that, on key points during a class session, faculty will ask moderators to give the floor to remote students who have raised their hand so they can ask their question. Individual faculty will, of course, be able to fine-tune the way they interact with their moderators to suit their teaching style.
Courses that require an assistant with domain expertise should hire TAs, as they would in a regular residential setting. Moderator training will be available to TAs as well.
Can LfA Classroom Moderators run a classroom with a remote faculty member?
Moderators will only be available for Faculty/TFs that are teaching on the BU campus. Schools and colleges may not ask moderators to provide in-person assistance for a course being taught by a remote faculty member. The moderators are trained to provide in-class technical and engagement assistance in partnership with a faculty member or TF; they are not equipped to be the sole leader within a classroom setting.
Can faculty request a LfA Classroom Moderator even if their class does not meet the defined criteria?
In general, moderators will only be provided for classes of 20 students or more. The request form does allow faculty to request an exemption to the 20 student minimum requirement. We will collect these requests and the online/remote working group will present the cost of these exemptions for approval/denial to the ABC.
Who will pay and manage the LfA Classroom Moderators?
Moderators will be funded centrally. They will be student employees that are hired, trained, and scheduled by IS&T.
What is the difference between a Teaching Fellow (TF), Teaching Assistant (TA), Grader, and LfA Classroom Moderator?
Teaching Fellow (TF): A Teaching Fellow must be a PhD student, normally on stipend, that has subject area knowledge. TFs may lead individual discussion sections, lecture on occasion, meet with students individually or in small groups, prepare course materials, grade exams and other assignments (and can, at times, be the sole grader), oversee portions of an entire class, and/or perform administrative work related to the course. On rare occasions, experienced TFs may be listed as an instructor of record (e.g. MET; Graduate Writing Fellows in CAS). TFs are paid and hired by the school/college/department, and usually report directly to the instructor.
Teaching Assistant (TA): Though broadly defined within each school/college, a teaching assistant is any undergraduate or non-PhD graduate or professional student that assists an instructor in the classroom. Typically, TAs have subject area knowledge. TAs may hold a variety of different roles within an individual course, which may include meeting with students individually or in small groups, preparing course materials, performing preliminary grading of exams and other assignments in preparation for the instructor’s final review, and performing administrative work related to the course. In some instances, graduate and professional student TAs may lead discussion sections. TAs are paid and hired by the school/college/department, and usually report directly to the instructor.
Grader: Graders may be graduate or undergraduate students. Their duties are limited to assisting the instructor with the grading of multiple choice, short answer, essay and/or problem- and case-based exams. The instructor always oversees final grading for each assignment. Graders do not typically have direct contact with students in the class. Graders are paid and hired by the school/college/department, and usually report directly to the instructor.
LfA Classroom Moderator: LfA Classroom Moderators may be graduate or undergraduate students. They are intended to be facilitators of remote student engagement via Zoom, assisting the faculty member in handling the simultaneous and remote modality. They are also expected to provide first-line support for classroom technology. Moderators are assigned to classes, not to faculty. Moderators are paid and hired by IS&T, and report to a staff supervisor in IS&T.
Classroom Technology FAQ
LfA Classroom Technology
Boston University’s Learning & Events Technology Services (LETS) is available to provide LfA support to remote-teaching faculty. Visit the Technology Support FAQ page.
Please Note: If your question is not answered via the FAQ link provided, or you would like clarification on any content, please create a ServiceNow ticket by sending an email to email@example.com. A representative from LETS will follow up with you regarding your request.
Additional Resources: Visit the Find-A-Classroom section of the main Classrooms page to search for your classroom.
Additional Resources: Back To On-Campus Work Guide
Back To On-Campus Work Guide
The Back To On-Campus Work Guide is the best place to find answers to many of the work-related questions that you may be asking. It details the dozens of safety protocols that will affect the work lives of all faculty and staff during this phase of our reopening, from commonplace safeguards like face coverings and social distancing to sophisticated on-campus COVID-19 testing. The guide also points readers to the many resources and services available to support our community’s health and wellbeing. It even suggests the safest way to eat lunch: bring your own, and don’t share.
Given the evolving nature of this pandemic, many of these new protocols and advisories may change over the coming months, and so we encourage all faculty and staff to regularly check the Back2BU website for updates. Thank you for taking the time to read through the guide and for your diligence, teamwork, and continued commitment to safety as we work through this extraordinary time together.
Recovery Plan Resources for Faculty & Staff
As we hear from employees regarding the return to campus and questions you may have, we will continue to develop resources and information that support the return to campus. The COVID-19 Employee Support Line at 617-358-4990 or firstname.lastname@example.org will continue to be an available resource, as will the Human Resources Service Center at 617-353-2380 or email@example.com. Stay connected and learn more about BU’s plan to reopen.