Virtual Instruction

W&L prides itself on the quality of its faculty-student interactions. Very often, that means face-to-face interactions. Unfortunately, the present moment requires us to adapt to a variety of different modes of instruction. This page provides a variety of resources for faculty in all fields. 

Four Tips for Teaching in Winter Term

Whether you’re teaching virtually, socially-distanced, or in a blended environment, instruction in the time of COVID presents its own challenges. These four basic tips can help.

General Resources

There are thousands of excellent resources out there about virtual/blended/flexed instruction. Here are a few that we found particularly useful. 

Trauma-Based Pedagogies

Instruction in the time of COVID means we’re working with students whose capacity for learning is under assault. Trauma-based pedagogies attempt to respond to the  challenges our students face.

Inclusivity

Inclusion isn’t just an option in our teaching: it’s how we ensure that every W&L student leaves with a profound sense of their ability to move into the world as agents of positive change.

Designing Our Courses

How do you put together a course in a virtual or “blended” setting—where some students might be in class and others might be online? 

Community Building and Communication

Building a strong sense of community in a virtual or flexed classroom isn’t impossible. It just requires deliberate action on the part of the instructor—and constant attention over the course of the semester.

Leading Effective Discussions

Running a class discussion can always be challenging. This is even more the case with virtual or flexed environments. Here are some resources that provide plenty of ideas about how to create impactful, engaging, and inclusive classroom conversations.

Creating Effective Videos

We know that “flipping” the classroom is probably essential when in a virtual environment: 90-minute, synchronous lectures likely won’t be particularly productive when online.

Grading & Exams

One rare upside to the move to virtual instruction is that it forces us to rethink pedagogical habits that we’ve engaged for years without much deliberation.

STEM

Courses in the STEM fields often present their own challenges for virtual instruction. Here are some sites that might get you thinking about practical and powerful ways to ensure student learning.

Fine Arts, Studio Arts, and Performing Arts

There are no perfect answers for taking hands-on and experiential courses into a virtual environment, but these sites at least offer a starting place to prompt our approach and our thinking.

World Languages

Teaching languages in a virtual setting can be challenging. Fortunately, the following sites provide lots of ideas and tips. (Many thanks to Dick Kuettner for providing these resources!)

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