Tools and resources for COVID-19
We know there are many challenges for our students, faculty, staff and partners as we deal with the changes in structure brought about by the coronavirus. We at the REAL team want you to know that we remain here to support you.
We have put together some guidance on hiring and recruiting students during the COVID-19 response. Similar such resources can also be found at Center for Community Engagement and Impact's Keep on Partnering page.
An expansive list of additional resources can also be found by expanding the header below:
The following tools and resources can help you navigate experiential learning activities during COVID-19: Accessibility Arts Co-curricular activities (virtual) Community partnerships Curated discipline-specific examples Discussion of a shared text General High impact practices Internships Sciences/labs Support for Student Learners Moving Online Teaching online (How NOT to overwhelm students in a time of disruption) Moving online quickly Synchronous Instruction
The following tools and resources can help you navigate experiential learning activities during COVID-19:
Co-curricular activities (virtual)
Curated discipline-specific examples
Discussion of a shared text
High impact practices
Support for Student Learners Moving Online
Teaching online (How NOT to overwhelm students in a time of disruption)
Moving online quickly
What is REAL?
REAL's mission is to answer how VCU can guarantee every student an academic experience that involves hands-on learning activities directly relevant to realizing their personal and professional goals.
To our students, it is the university's promise to engage you in meaningful, hands-on work that builds both your professional and personal identity.
For our faculty and university professionals, it is a promise to support you as you create unique ways to provide these types of meaningful experiences for our students.
What REAL means in practice
REAL is not a hard reset, nor will it have a negative impact on the faculty, programs and projects already engaged in experiential learning. Instead, it’s an intentional organizing of the types of career-building and civic-minded activities that VCU already does well, providing an anchor for all the university's experiential education activities, including research, study abroad, service learning, practica and internships.
In practice, REAL means:
- New or improved curricular elements to ensure adherence to best practices
- New or improved tracking of experiential learning across the institution
- Bringing an equity lens to experiential learning through information sharing and student exposure to tailored experiential learning opportunities
REAL does not:
- Increase student’s time to degree
- Increase student’s debt load
A wide variety of academic activities qualify as a REAL experience, many of which already occur throughout the VCU curriculum:
A collection of recent articles about REAL:
- Making reflection real: Hands-on workshop illustrates the importance of reflective pedagogy
- Experiential learning the focus of first-ever REAL poster session
- Lessons learned from the Feb. 28 REAL town hall
- Universitywide initiative to boost experience-based education gains momentum (VCU News)
- Making REAL progress: Group to guide experiential learning initiative holds first meeting
- Photo gallery from the Dec. 3 REAL Summit with Dr. Tia McNair
REAL next steps
REAL goals for the 2019-20 academic year include:
- Expand engagement: Convene an expanded REAL Council to engage and involve stakeholders in REAL, including alumni and business/industry leaders
- Map engaged learning pathways: Use the results of the Opportunity Audit to identify curricular pathways to advanced experiential learning activities and to credentialing in high-demand work force areas
- Implement new IT solutions: Use the Student Opportunity Center platform's database to both connect students with opportunities and track their engagement on a central level
- Identify a co-curriculum transcript solution: Explore the utility of digital badging for capturing, verifying and credentialing student non-credit activities