Resource of the Month

The hyflex and online teaching formats have altered our approach to teaching and engaging with students as well as raised questions on how to enhance student learning in the age of COVID. September’s resource of the month briefly addresses one of these concerns, how to sustain emotional connections with students.

In the article “Cameras and Masks: Sustaining Emotional Connections with Your Students in an Age of COVID19,” Howard Aldrich, professor of sociology at UNC Chapel Hill, offers several suggestions on how faculty can enhance engagement in the classroom and online. Of those, Aldrich suggests faculty lecture less and utilize more structured discussions, polls, and in-class videos in an effort to “replace yourself as the chief talker.” He also suggests having a brief “check-in” at the beginning of every class “during which students can share some of the difficulties they’ve encountered in learning under the constraints imposed by COVID-19 restrictions.” Aldrich offers additional suggests on how to teach while practicing social distancing and how to handle student cameras when teaching online. This article is the first of a two-part series on how to foster and sustain student engagement during this time.

Author Howard Aldrich is a Kenan Professor of Sociology in the department of sociology at UNC Chapel Hill. His article is published in Tomorrow’s Professor Postings sponsored by the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning. This publication seeks to foster a diverse, world-wide teaching and learning ecology among its over 65,000 subscribers at over 1,000 institutions and organizations in over 100 countries around the world.

Interested in learning more about the scholarship of teaching and learning or accessing more of these resources? Belmont and Bunch Library offer the SoTL Resources at Bunch Library that provides information on SoTL professional organizations, research journals, conferences, etc.

The purpose of the Resource of the Month is twofold:

1) To encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by providing examples of high-quality research.

2) To provide faculty with innovative ideas that promote effective pedagogy.

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