I was heartened to read a recent article published in The Teaching Professor written by OSU’s psychology professor, Regan Gurung, reflecting on what he has learned while teaching during a pandemic that has made him a better teacher.

He states, “Personally, my Emergency Remote Teaching has given way to Temporary Remote Teaching en route to Effective Blending Learning.” He reflects on his attempts to simply “keep the lights on” that resulted in Frankencourses (as Cub Kahn likes to call them), or courses that did neither synchronous nor asynchronous particularly well, and often lead to much more work for the students.

Now several weeks in, Dr. Gurung has found effective ways to build community using technology and no longer uses the term online “lectures” but rather online “classes” that take the face-to-face experience and translates it into shared experiences through screens.

He also challenges us to conceptualize our classes as a blended learning environment where content may be delivered via short video presentations and synchronous time is used for discussion and interaction using breakout rooms and a myriad of online collaboration tools like those available in the Google Suite (e.g. Jamboard that Melinda wrote about last week). The goal is to create pedagogically sound class time.

Our students are experiencing significant Zoom fatigue and social isolation. While they have committed to hanging in there with us this term, we’re going to need to do things very well in this new environment to keep them.

As we move forward and will likely need to incorporate remote learning into summer and the next academic year, I challenge you to reflect well. What have you learned that will make your classes truly exceptional? Explore some new tools.

The Center for Teaching and Learning has a wealth of helpful resources related to Blended Learning:

You all deserve a medal for what you have taken on this term with almost no warning and no choice in the matter. Your resilience and the resilience of our students is a testament to our shared commitment to learning, even during a pandemic. Above all, THANK YOU.

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