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Boise State Faculty Share Ways they Grew as Educators during the Pandemic

On August 18th, six Boise State faculty gathered in a panel event hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning to consider the lessons learned from teaching during an unprecedented public health crisis. Thank you to panelists Liljana Babinkostova (Mathematics), Derek Ganong (Music), Tracie Lee (IT & SCM), Jayash Paudel (Economics), Mojtaba Sadegh (Civil Engineering), and Lori Watsen (Social Work), who discussed approaches adopted last year that they plan to continue using in their courses as they move forward. A theme in the discussion was that the approaches used to meet the challenges of remote and distanced instruction remain relevant as ways to implement an inclusive, compassionate, flexible approach to education.

Below are some of the main takeaways that faculty shared during this event:

  • Have students complete a pre-course/first week survey, in which you can ask questions about preferred names and pronouns, prior experience with the topic, and/or what they’d like you to know about what would support their learning in your course.

  • When possible, make due dates flexible/provide a grace period so that if students have a one-time conflict arise, it doesn’t negatively impact their grade.

  • Being transparent with students about purpose and criteria for assignments helps them be successful (for information about creating transparent assignments, check out the Transparency in Learning and Teaching website).

  • Instead of having set office hours, encourage students to reach out when they have questions, and/or offer multiple ways they can connect with you and their fellow students (virtual drop in office hours, course discussions, email, text, etc.).

  • Frequent emails/announcements to students helps encourage two-way communication.

Below are links to recent articles on the topic of “Lessons Learned from the Pandemic” that could be useful when thinking about planning for your courses this fall.