The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous changes and challenges for many people. In the education field, teachers were asked to re-create lesson plans and student interactivity in a virtual realm, something many had never experienced. During the 180th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which be held virtually, Andrew Morrison, from Joliet Junior College, revealed lessons learned by educators during remote teaching caused by the pandemic and what techniques they can use in the return to classroom instruction.
Morrison said: ‘Many adaptations for pandemic teaching likely will not transition to the classroom, but the use of online collaboration tools, should be retained to increase the equity of access to the course or to increase student engagement.’
‘In general, I think there are some online tools that I’ve used that I think can be used to enhance the face-to-face class,’ Morrison said. ‘I think this may need a bit of tweaking to get right the first few times we do it, but I am hopeful that it will work to increase the student engagement with the material and understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.’
To keep students involved in online classroom activities, many educators changed their previous teaching techniques, experimenting with new components on the fly. They did this while still juggling nonteaching work and family responsibilities due to the pandemic.
‘It was just a lot to deal with all at once,’ Morrison said. ‘I think really the biggest challenge was that I pretty much had to change everything that I was doing. One of the strategies I learned for implementing the active engagement components in classes was to only implement one change into a course each time it was taught. This year has been pretty much the exact opposite of that.’
Developing an online classroom culture with students meant creating an environment where students feel valued and have the trust to reach out to instructors for help instead of turning to an internet source. Morrison said: ‘The physical disconnect from students heightened his awareness of their perception of teachers.’
‘I feel that some students had the wrong idea of the role I was in over the past year,’ he said. ‘They had this idea that I was just there to set up the class and grade assignments. It was disheartening at times to see that my expertise was not valued by the students.’