Supporting Our Selves, Students, and Each Other During Coronavirus
I want to thank everyone who has come together to support our students and each other in these difficult times. The way our college has stepped up to take on this immense challenge makes me proud. I hope everyone enjoyed a well-deserved Spring Break. As we return to fulfilling our mission remotely, we compiled some on-line information that might assist you.
The university’s Coronavirus guidance site is updated daily and hosts a wealth of resources, including a place to report and prevent discrimination or harassment (issues the university and the college are taking seriously). In addition, a new website developed jointly by CLAS and CEDC is being updated continuously to help everyone transition to working, teaching, and learning remotely.
I’m also encouraging anyone looking for resources to improve their remote teaching to download The Chronicle of Higher Educations’ latest article collection, Coping With Coronavirus. Articles in this collection cover how to make the online pivot as smooth as possible, making online teaching more empathetic and inclusive, and keeping coursework relevant and reflective. As Georgia Tech’s Karen J. Head says, “integrating empathy and compassion into our courses is now a critical part of the work we must do.”
Included in this bundle are 10 Tips to Support Students in a Stressful Shift to Online Learning, they are:
#1 Survey Students about Tools and Platforms
#2 Co-Construct Your Class
#3 Favor Asynchronous Approaches
#4 Go Low-Tech and Mobile Friendly
#5 Temper Your Expectations
#6 Share Your Story
#7 Offer Support and Resources
#8 Create Opportunities for Students to Process the Moment
#9 Don’t’ Forget About Students with Disabilities
#10 Assign Self-Care and Model It
Tips six and seven are two that I especially hope we can implement beyond the virtual classroom. If you have any stories from your community that might help all of us stay motivated and inspired during these dark times please share them. Likewise, if you have tips and tricks that you think would benefit fellow faculty or staff, now is the time to be of service. Please send all this info to Tracy.Kohm@ucdenver.edu and she will see that it gets distributed.
Finally, there is an excellent explanation of how all of our social distancing efforts can make a real difference in impacting the next few months, and ultimately the course of this epidemic, by Health and Behavioral Science’s Associate Professor jimi adams. I encourage all of you to do what you can to help “flatten the curve.”
Stay well, keep washing your hands, and be good to each other,