Comment on Cuny distance learning

I hope everyone is doing well, or at least ok. Considerable stress on all including myself due to health crisis, economic uncertainty (Cuny budget, lost jobs, closed businesses etc), and political situation. People I know are getting sick. Some of my students have lost jobs, or parents have closed businesses; some students or parents are still going to work, in hospitals or as home health aides, in retail and food service. So everyone is under strain.

I’m using zoom and getting almost but not quite half of my students to participate. Also, using the blog on OpenLab and focusing on learning effective writing “design” in a blog post. This I basically mirror to paragraph breaks and I focus on clarity and precision in one’s actual statement of one’s thought. Then critical evaluation of one’s own thought and the question: do I actually affirm this thought? Metacognition gives the writer the opportunity to examine his own thought, after he has clearly stated it, and then if necessary, change it.

Zoom is useful and easy, and great for me to “lecture.” To counter this, I make the format to go around the table and have each participant give a personal update on health crisis and family; and questions on the research review. Students who participate it seem to appreciate having contact with me.

Distance learning takes “approximately” as much of my time as in person classes, minus the commute. However, I cannot really monitor who is “paying attention on zoom” and I cannot use in person communication techniques to stimulate discussion.

For office hours, I’ve used live blog sessions and I’m using Zoom. Also I am availiable on email and students have been in contact with me.

Main problem with blog. Not sure if students are really reading each other’s posts or even mine.

Nevertheless, I feel, subjectively, fwiw, that it’s working pretty well. Students seem to want to attend the Zooms. Though it’s not consistent—some are very busy.

Leave a Reply