Today, the EdTech Breakthrough Awards announced 2U, Inc. as “Online Education Provider of the Year” for our recent launch of No Back Row® PRO, an interactive faculty training product, offered free to our partners. Originally designed to help universities move online in response to coronavirus, No Back Row® PRO has evolved into a dynamic service for faculty to develop new online teaching skills whenever they need it most.
For an industry not known for speed, the higher education community moved impressively fast to close their campuses to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of their communities. In doing so, remote education was quickly embraced as an emergency solution to provide students with educational continuity. Living rooms suddenly became lecture halls, and hundreds of millions of students and thousands of faculty members were forced to navigate online learning for the first time.
At 2U, we know that moving online isn’t enough to create a great educational experience. To bring high-quality online education to students, faculty need to be able to facilitate experiences that are blended and connected. The best online programs help students build meaningful and lasting connections with the educational material they are learning, their professors, and each other. No Back Row® PRO was purpose-built to help faculty learn the strategies and tools to build meaningful online connections, leverage the virtual medium for engaging discussions, and utilize prerecorded content and offline materials to maximize student outcomes. While training faculty in online pedagogy has always been a key part of the core services we offer to our partners, No Back Row® PRO offers even more support to help faculty gain the skills and confidence to teach live and engaging online classes.
Through No Back Row® PRO, faculty members across our entire network of over 70 university partners—including those who did not teach in 2U-powered programs and were navigating a virtual classroom for the first time—were offered a suite of best-practice trainings and ongoing support services for online teaching. More than a thousand of our university partners’ faculty members have enrolled in No Back Row® PRO to date, including faculty from Rice University, Oxford University, and many others. Together, they have engaged in live webinars, office hours, practice sessions, and open discussions with star faculty who have been teaching live classes online for years.
By empowering faculty with the tools they need to successfully teach online, No Back Row® PRO has helped meet a critical need and enhance the quality of teaching and learning that has taken place in hundreds of virtual classrooms around the world. We are proud to be honored and recognized by EdTech Breakthrough as a company that is committed to adapting our core products and services to best support our partners when they need us most.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.