The school day at any level, from kindergarten through graduate studies, has been anything but normal since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, Professor Jo-Anne Hart insists, real learning opportunities about in the virtual classroom.
In a recent opinion column published by the Providence Journal, Hart recounted her last day of her summer online course, illuminating the spontaneity and emotional heft that can occur even in what seems like an artificial learning environment.
Faculty and students, Hart writes, “can develop meaningful connections, trust and care about one another even remotely.”
“Technical shortcomings can be overcome through content design, caring attention and instructors who invite engagement,” he column continues. “What’s more, in virtual classrooms, students can interact better, more deeply and for longer than in many campus classrooms. The various available tools in most online course systems in use now are structured to get students working together. Live or later. Intentionally creating assignments that demand students to discover, analyze, reflect and share are often more effective online. Both research and interacting with materials can be readily integrated into class work.”
Lesley University itself, President Janet L. Steinmayer recently announced, will continue a mostly remote-learning model (with very few exceptions) for the Spring 2020 semester.