We’re four episodes in, and I’m loving Collegeland. It’s a critical but also encouraging, uplifting look at higher ed right now, telling stories of the 23 million people who work and live on college campuses. I’m lucky to be part of the most recent episode, “Zoomversity,” on online teaching.
Have a listen–the production is excellent, and you’ll find Nan Enstad a thoughtful, engaging interviewer. Here is the Collegeland description of the episode:
Among other things, 2020 was the year of the Great Virtual Shift, when college campuses across the country pivoted to emergency remote instruction in response to the pandemic coming to the United States in March, just before spring break.
While Zoom classes have now become a regular fixture of university life, many instructors had a rocky beginning moving their courses online. Enter Rebecca Barrett-Fox, coordinator of online learning at Hesston College, who wrote an encouraging blog post called “Please Do a Bad Job of Putting Your Courses Online.”
Within a week, the post had a million views. The message was just what every teacher needed to hear: It’s okay if you’re not perfect at this teaching online thing right away. Be gentle with yourself and supportive of your students in this difficult time.
We sat down with Rebecca to learn more about her story of “going viral” and her (online) teaching philosophy, including kindness as pedagogy and her take on the screens on/screens off debate.
Co-hosts Nan and Lisa weigh in with their own experiences teaching online and sign off with a new edition of Office Hours, where they answer a listener’s question about community college.