In this latest First Things First update, Professors Anita Casavantes Bradford and Pavan Kadandale discuss what they have done to adapt their courses to the remote teaching and learning environment. 

In response, students Gretta Ozuna and Leon Masuda share their appreciation for all the hard work and consideration their instructors have invested in online teaching.

Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford

With UCI operating remotely due to the pandemic, faculty and instructors have adapted their courses to the online environment. In her First Things First update, Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford explains some of the things she’s doing to adjust to remote teaching.

Gretta Ozuna Responds to Professor Casavantes Bradford

After hearing Professor Casavantes Bradford’s thought process on designing her remote courses, Gretta explains why she prefers asynchronous courses and shares her appreciation for all the consideration and effort that instructors invest when creating their courses.

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Professor Pavan Kadandale

In his First Things First video, Professor Pavan Kadandale discusses how he leveraged student concerns when designing courses for the remote learning environment. He explains that he focused on three main things: (1) building online learning communities to support collaborative learning; (2) creating opportunities for students to connect with learning assistants, TAs, and himself; and (3) building a learning environment that was safe and accessible for all students. In addition to these points, he also stresses the importance of being flexible and communicative when accommodating students during this time.

Leon Masuda Responds to Professor Kadandale

Responding to Professor Kadandale’s video where he explains how he redesigned his courses for remote learning, Leon expresses her appreciation for the understanding and flexibility that all of her professors have shown. While she admits that learning remotely has been challenging, she says UCI resources and new technologies helped her make the most of this difficult time. That being said, Leon ends the video by sharing her excitement for Fall when she can finally meet her Anteater family in person.

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The First Things First project is an evolution of UCI’s First-Generation Faculty Initiative, designed to help first-gen students overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This new “virtual” mentorship program pairs two incoming UCI first-gen students with first-gen faculty members for a year-long, social-media-distributed conversation about the transition to university life. The goal of First Things First is to help UCI’s entire first-gen population, as well as first-gen students throughout higher education, build a sense of community—even in this remote college environment. To further this project, we invite you to share this article on your social media channels and with your network.