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Work in Progress: Cultures of Collaboration in Emergency Remote Teaching and Beyond

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Experiences: Teaching in a Pandemic

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Carolyn Kelly Ottman Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Carolyn Kelly Ottman, Ph.D.
Professor, Rader School of Business

Leadership Portals, LLC, Independent Consultant

phone: 414-303-9339 (cell)

Ph.D. - Adult Education with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership, University of Wisconsin – Madison
M.P.A./M.A. - Public Policy and Administration and Health Service Administration, La Follette Institute of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin - Madison
B.S. – Therapeutic Recreation, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Areas of Expertise
Dr. Ottman focuses on organizational behavior, management, leadership, continuous improvement, and team dynamics. A specific area of interest is virtual teams, which she incorporates into the hybrid courses she teaches. She is a certified administrator of the MBTI, which she uses to aid in leadership and team development.

Currently, Dr. Ottman teaches full time graduate courses and conducts leadership seminars. She developed the Doing Business in China program. Prior to joining MSOE, she taught for eight years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, and the Executive USA and China MBA degree programs, and she conducted leadership programs for industry leaders from around the world. In 2005, she was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award for Academic Staff for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Ottman also provides independent consultation to local, national and international executive leaders, leadership teams, and management groups from an array of industries and professions. She has conducted onsite consultation and education to Asia-Pacific leadership teams.

Professional Activities
Dr. Ottman has 13 years of experience in health care as a manager, an administrator, and a vice president. She served on various local, state, and national professional boards, including serving as President of the Milwaukee area Association of Health Care Executives, as a Board of Examiners for the Wisconsin Forward Award and as President of ALPs (Accelerated Learning Programs) in Oshkosh. Among her current volunteer activities, she serves as a quality consultant for Oshkosh Public Schools, as a leadership consultant to Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services and is on the Advisory Board for the VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) of Wisconsin.

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Cultures of Collaboration in Emergency Remote Teaching and Beyond

We pride ourselves on teaching through hands-on learning and being available to students and colleagues in campus offices. In part, these elements make us good teachers. Prior to March 2020, face-to-face interaction was the way we taught, collaborated, served and learned. Then, COVID-19 became real and, within a week, we could no longer be physically present with our students and peers. We shifted instruction to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). We also shifted the way we collaborated in our scholarship and service. Informed by research, this paper highlights aspects of our journey, challenges along the way and lessons learned to apply to the future.

As educators in a predominately engineering university, the courses we teach address identified gaps in traditional engineering education and focus on the “soft skills” [1]. Team-based learning and team projects are central to our teaching pedagogy. In moving to ERT, we had many questions centering on retaining our pedagogy in a completely online environment. This dilemma required us to become collaborative learners ourselves, demonstrating an entrepreneurial mindset [2]. Specifically, we took risks to explore ways to create an online structure to enable students to reach course learning objectives. Within our own discovery process, we developed stronger collegial relationships and applied our learning not just to the classroom, but to our service and scholarship work. Moving online in ERT changed the way we lived out our culture and provided new collaboration tools that benefited all aspects of our work as faculty. These benefits can extend beyond the ERT period. As we look to the future, we must ask ourselves, how can we intentionally take these lessons learned and apply them to our practices as educators and as colleagues to promote collaboration and learning?

Ottman, C. K. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Cultures of Collaboration in Emergency Remote Teaching and Beyond Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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