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Teaching: More Pandemic-Driven Innovations Professors Like

This week I’m sharing more of your thoughts on which innovations from the past year you want to keep even when campuses resume normal operations. Earlier this month I described a few of them: flexibility with deadlines and grading, taking time to connect with students, and virtual meetings of all sorts, from office hours to tutoring to guest lectures.

Here are a few more of your ideas:

Recorded lectures and classes. This year many, many instructors found themselves recording short lectures for their students to watch before class. Their aim was to spend valuable class time in discussion or on group work, rather than lecturing into the void on Zoom.

As it turns out, those recordings have proved enormously helpful in other ways. Several readers said that their students liked being able to replay lectures, perhaps to review material they'd missed or had trouble understanding the first time around. Similarly, many faculty members recorded class sessions this year, so they could be shared with students who were in isolation or had to miss class for other reasons. The professors suggested that this innovation stick around, too, given that students will continue to have scheduling conflicts after Covid, such as when athletes need to travel for games.

Hybrid teaching and teaching with technology. Technology entered professors’ lives in a major way this past year, and it turns out there’s a lot to like. Even those who had only a passing familiarity with their learning management systems before the pandemic found themselves mastering tools to better connect with their students.

Some readers reported success with collaborative tools, such as Google Docs or Perusall, that enable students to work together virtually on readings, problems, and projects.

Students learn more effectively when they can see how their classmates write, and how an instructor discusses and corrects that writing, said Mona Eikel-Pohen, an assistant teaching professor of German at Syracuse University. “Collaborating on texts has become easier, too, and making mistakes has become so obvious that students have fewer anxieties to embrace making mistakes as learning opportunities and not as defects.”

Read entire article at Chronicle of Higher Education