During our second week of virtual teaching, I have heard from several students and colleagues about their online experiences. It seems many of the students feel very relieved to be back in our company and in our classes. They enjoy seeing their peers and you as their instructor. Many students are saying that having structure back in their lives through classwork is really helpful. Some are still overwhelmed by the changes and are learning to create routines that include a combination of classwork, exercise, contact with family and friends through social media. While some of our students still work, others have been laid off. Some families have several college students back home which puts new stresses while also creating opportunities.
I am meeting with my students through Google Hangouts and we make sure everyone has something to contribute in every meeting. The synchronous experience helps them feel less separated from their peers and for some is a better motivator than large amounts of work without timelines. Teamwork is a helpful way to support social bonding during this time of uncertainty. Advising is also an opportunity to meet one-on-one with students.
We are working on a Faculty Engagement team that will coordinate communication to faculty, prepare resources to help you with online classes and solicit any concerns faculty may have in the new online environment. This group is being created to support you! We are still building the team, so if you would like to add your name to the list, please let me know.
We would like to know what you are learning and we want to hear your ideas so we can share those resources with other colleagues. Let's work together to do all we can to improve our teaching and our students' spring 2020 experiences. Here are some resources you might find helpful:
Ten Tips for First-Time Online Faculty
Chronicle of Higher Education
AACTE Educator Preparation Community Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
–Sent to Faculty on 04/08/2020
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