The University of Chicago Professional Education

Pedagogical Approach to Remote Learning

UCPE aims to support faculty and instructors to utilize digital technologies and pedagogical techniques to deliver UChicago’s signature approach to education for professional audiences.

UChicago’s Pedagogical Philosophy

University of Chicago approach which we support for professional development audiences combines constructivism—the theory that learning is a collaborative process that entails creating, sharing, and interacting—with UChicago’s emphasis on inquiry, impact, and free expression. We teach you how to think, not what to think.

This philosophy is based on the following values:

  • Intellectual curiosity that fuels engagement with ideas and challenges assumptions.
  • Critical discourse that engages in collaborative and generative consideration of the content.
  • Rigorous inquiry through carefully-examined theory to guide action and impact.
  • Impact delivery through project-based learning that draws on authentic and real-world challenges.
diagram of teaching strategies

Learning Design and Strategies

How do we cultivate thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative learning?

Collaborative learning can be challenging in remote formats because of the physical and emotional isolation some students can experience. In response, we recommend that you create what Garrison, Anderson, and Archer’s call a virtual “Community of Inquiry”, by communicating human presence in three ways:

  • Teaching Presence: Consider students in the design of the course by providing clear and explicit instructions for all activities. Provide students with timely, supportive feedback and actively facilitate course discussions.
  • Social Presence: Project your personality through announcements, emails, and videos. Consider hosting remote office hours to provide more support.
  • Cognitive Presence: Provide multiple ways for students to engage with and test their understanding of concepts and ideas. The methods may include simulations, self-assessments, and open-ended dialogue.