Many students and professors will step into the virtual classroom this spring and fall and discover there is no turning back. Regardless of what happens with COVID-19, virtual learning is probably here to stay and will present challenges across the educational landscape. Here are some suggestions that could make the experience a worthy struggle.
Check-in with students
Keep in regular contact with students. Communications will be easier than ever thanks to email, Zoom meetings and online communication tools. A few clicks on a keyboard can trigger syllabus changes, assignments and “office” visits. The transparency of virtual learning will relieve student stress. Professors will gain insights into how their students are dealing with workloads and mental health challenges that inevitably accompany sweeping changes such as virtual learning. Online conversations will give professors insights about how their students are managing uncertain times.
Reimagine ideas of productivity
COVID-19 will revolutionize productivity. Students working from home will inevitably find their educational obligations challenged by chores such as babysitting, household duties or simply the desire to spend time with family. Productivity will suffer unless educators adopt more liberal views about the demands of learning. Students will need time to adjust to life at home and virtual learning. Everyone will benefit from more flexibility.
Encourage students to pursue new interests
Encourage students to seize new opportunities that foster better mental health and balance in a world with COVID-19. Help students with a better school/homelife balance through virtual book clubs, video chats with friends, in-home fitness or new hobbies. A better life/school balance will make virtual learning a better experience for teachers and students alike.
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