The Water Resources Educators forum is a response by the ASCE-EWRI Education and Students Councils to the large-scale movement of higher education to online content delivery in response to COVID-19. It is intended to facilitate conversations about the best practices teaching water- and environment-related courses remotely. This is an open forum—faculty and students are welcome to participate. We hope it serves as a resource for everyone in our community who is now faced with the challenge of re-designing courses that traditionally involve a large amount of direct student-faculty interaction.
We recognize that there are many other resources that can help with technology, online collaboration, and health. For example, the ASCE COVID-19 page (https://collaborate.asce.org/covid-19/home) provides several generally-relevant discussions. We hope that the discussions in this forum focus primarily on how to effectively achieve water- and environmental resources- related educational outcomes using an online delivery format.
Questions that may be worth discussing include:
- How can the important elements of a water-related laboratory be delivered online?
- What is the most effective way to reproduce the outcomes associated with field trips?
- What types of demonstrations are feasible and effective for students to run at home, in the absence of an instructor?
- What is the best way to facilitate group work on water- and environment- related projects?
- How do we ensure that our content is delivered in an equitable way, given the variability in access to technology that is certainly present among student populations?
Now is likely to be a time when many of us learn a great deal about what translates well to an online course and what does not. Please use this site to share your experiences and any resources you believe would be helpful to other members our community.
Please note that our councils do not yet have a formal structure for curating the material posted here. Consequently, the forum is likely to remain a work-in-progress for the foreseeable future. For now, you may share your thoughts in the following ways:
- Discussions: Conversations are probably most effectively facilitated using the discussion post/response functionality in Collaborate. Please place links to resources in the discussion post.
- Library: Any files you wish to share (e.g., those that are in the public domain) can be shared in the “Library” section of the site. If you post something there, please say so in a discussion post and provide guidance on how to find it.
- Events: We are planning on facilitating several informal online meet-ups using Teams. We will do our best to make sure the schedule is available in the “Events” section of the site.
- Forum Membership/Communication: For those of you who are ASCE members, it is possible for us to make you a member of the forum, which will then allow you to receive email updates about events (depending on how you configure your settings in Collaborate). To join, please send an email to Jenn Jacyna, email@example.com, EWRI’s Strategic Initiatives Manager
If anyone is interested in developing a more user-friendly site (e.g., a moderated wiki that provides links to online resources), please contact one of the officers in the Education and Student Councils.
Wes Lauer, Chair, EWRI Student Council
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Seattle University
Spencer Schnier, Chair, EWRI Education Council
Water Resources Engineer, Freese and Nichols Inc.