MI Picks is a pilot initiative to engage the McMaster community with recently published teaching and learning scholarship and its applications to practice.
In light of recommendations emerging from McMaster’s Fall 2020 Experience Survey, five articles were chosen on the important theme of fostering connections in online learning environments. Together, these articles describe:
Our hope is that these articles provoke, inspire, and encourage us to explore new opportunities for enhancing care and connection in our virtual classrooms this term.
Access the e-book of summaries on Pressbooks.
Summaries written by: Alise de Bie, Elisa Do, Dani Pryke, Celeste Suart, and Vanessa Wong
Highlight: Keeping students engaged and fostering a sense of community can be challenging in the online classroom. Most teaching-research on student engagement and community-building has focused on traditional in-person teaching. In this article, the authors explore specific strategies that can be used in online teaching to increase student engagement and connection through care-based teaching.
Reference: Burke, K., & Larmar, S. (2020). Acknowledging another face in the virtual crowd: Reimagining the online experience in higher education through an online pedagogy of care. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2020.1804536
Highlight: Scholars are engaging with philosophical and ethical questions about the move to online education, underscoring how technology is not neutral. This paper considers the ethics of disembodied ‘faceless’ learning in the asynchronous environment, and what this might mean for ethical, caring relations that have been theorized as dependent on face-based encounters with another person.
Reference: Rose, E. (2017). Beyond social presence: Facelessness and the ethics of asynchronous online education. McGill Journal of Education/Revue des sciences de l’éducation de McGill, 52(1), 17-32. https://doi.org/10.7202/1040802ar
Highlight: Emotional labour involves the management and regulation of emotions according to perceived norms about a certain profession. In teaching, emotional labour plays a significant role in how educators behave when teaching and interacting with students. How an educator handles emotions in teaching can vary greatly depending on the individual as well as the educational setting they are in. In this study, the researchers dive deeper into exploring the challenges that educators face when engaging in emotional labour, specifically within an online teaching environment in higher education.
Reference: Nyanjom, J., & Naylor, D. (2020). Performing emotional labour while teaching online. Educational Research, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2020.1836989
Highlight: This paper explores the importance of teacher presence within online educational contexts. Drawing on constructivism and invitational theory, previous teaching and learning scholarship, and the authors’ experiences with online education, this paper describes how the use of arts-based teaching methods can help facilitate a welcoming learning environment for students. Techniques described in this paper include short non-scripted videos from professors, informal discussion spaces, short personalized notes, class discussions regarding subjective material, and student expression through photographs and/or metaphor.
Reference: Moore, S. L., & Black, K. E., (2018). The heart of the matter: Creating invitational classrooms in online learning. https://doi.org/10.20533/iji.1742.4712.2018.0185
Highlight: Have you ever wanted to add a little “spice” to the way you teach your class online? Try narrative fiction-based instructional strategies! These include using media such as clips from movies, digital images, and music lyrics to get students engaged in unique ways. Read this article to see how effective these strategies are and how to implement them
Reference: Perry, B., Edwards, M., & Janzen, K. (2019). Enhancing e-learner engagement by using narrative fiction in online nursing and health disciplines courses. In C. Jarvis & P. Gouthro (Eds.), Professional education with fiction media (71-92). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.