Rapidly Moving Online in a Pandemic: Intentionality, Rapport, and The Synchronous/Asynchronous Delivery Decision

Rapidly Moving Online in a Pandemic: Intentionality, Rapport, and The Synchronous/Asynchronous Delivery Decision

By Joseph W. Roberts, Roger Williams University

This article discusses the thought process for shifting courses to online delivery. I taught three courses this past spring: a politics course on ethnic conflict (PEC), a senior research seminar (SrSem), and a general education interdisciplinary senior seminar (ISS) focusing on sustainability. Although this article focuses primarily on the ISS, I cross-reference the other courses for comparison. I model my classrooms on a community of inquiry (figure 1), which provides (1) a richer educational experience by combining social presence—the interconnectedness of learners and teachers in the classroom and beyond (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer 1999, 94–96); (2) cognitive presence—teacher–student and student–student interactions (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer 1999, 93–94); and (3) teaching presence—that which faculty provide such as learning materials, discussions, and activities (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer 1999, 96–97). The model fully engages students in all aspects of the learning process. My courses needed to maintain the same dynamic after moving to remote learning (ironically, where the model originated).

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