Memorial is entering its sixth week of the fall 2020 semester and, as we approach this midway point, it is critical that we reflect on feedback we have heard from many students and instructors about feeling overwhelmed – both by the remote nature of teaching and learning, and the volume of work.
We’re all working to adapt to remote learning.
First, I would like to thank both students and instructors for their feedback, and for the efforts you are making this semester. Your thoughts and experiences are valuable as we navigate the rest of this term and plan for a remote winter semester.
Second, while the fall semester is well underway, there are still opportunities for faculty members and instructors to reflect on and finetune your approach with the goal of improving the student learning experience in the short term.
Empathy and flexibility
You continue to teach, and your students continue to learn, in the middle of a pandemic.
In reflecting on your semester to-date and your instructional plans for the next weeks, consider the enduring understandings that you want students to leave with this semester. Success this semester can mean a focus on those, while letting other less essential components go.
Simplification, and showing empathy and flexibility, in this case, is not at the expense of academic quality, but certainly can help with the feelings we know that all members of our learning community are experiencing.
In addition to reviewing the outcomes of your course, CITL has posted a series of suggestions that may provide meaningful improvements in the workload for you and your students. In your efforts to be responsive to students and provide them with the support they need, I ask that you review and consider these suggestions.