Behind the camera is a student
In general, Cravens works to reassure students that if a problem occurs, they can find a solution. She remains conscious of her students’ perspectives during this transition to keep from creating any additional stress for them.
Beyond the academics of online teaching
Even though she’d worked previously in online instructional design, Contois knew she would be anxious about online course preparation over spring break. She decided to take the challenge head-on. One of her classes had to be completely asynchronous so the lectures needed to be posted ahead of time. Contois ended up recording them all in one day but wanted to keep the feeling of a weekly meeting. Her solution: changing her clothes – down to her jewelry – for each lecture. “I hope something silly like this can help make students feel at home in our course, even if it’s just me on their screen,” Contois said. The most important element to her online instruction, however, has been checking in with her students not just as learners, but also as people who might be struggling to meet the new obstacles presented by virtual learning. In her asynchronous class, Contois added optional questions to homework assignments for students to share selfies and updates on how they are feeling during these difficult times.