We are all continuing to adjust to bimodal delivery and the increased amounts of time that we spend online. Setting the expectations both for us and our students in the ways in which we interact online is an important part of this process. As part of HEFi’s commitment to providing pedagogically sound advice and guidance on online teaching, we have produced netiquette guidance for staff and students to help shape these expectations. It is also imperative that with this new guidance in mind, we continue to exercise compassion and embody inclusive practice when we interact with our students in online settings. For example, remembering that in some cases our students may not feel comfortable, or may have other reasons to not be able to have their videos turned on. So how can this HEFi guidance translate into pedagogical considerations that can cultivate an inclusive environment for all? There are a various ways this can be done but I’m going to use Pausing during online sessions as an example. We often dread pausing as educators and can even be tempted to fill the silence. In reality, pauses are an important moment for learners, allowing vital thinking time to digest the question or scenario posed. Furthermore, in a digital setting these pauses can be filled with opportunities to give anonymous feedback or answers, using technologies such as polling software, padlets or Canvas quizzes.
I would like to end this MicroCPD with a key principle for you to take away. Be empathetic and honest with your students and share your own experiences of online teaching, good or bad. This will make you more relatable and foster a supportive classroom experience.