A question and, frankly, a concern that many of us have in our UC communities during the Corona crisis is whether this crisis will permanently change the way we do things. Are the UC’s currently still the community of learners now that the small-scale education and personal interaction between teachers and peers is reduced to the online learning experience? My own students, brave as they are, are currently lamenting the loss of community as most of them moved away from campus to their homes and home countries. As a teacher, I miss being in the classroom and attuning myself to each and every student as we collectively produce a particular energy in the room. I am glad that I got to establish some sense of community in my course in the months before the Corona crisis forced us to go online. It helps me relate to my students now that I no longer receive all the cues that I would when teaching in the physical classroom. Still, it makes me wonder how online teaching will work should we continue to teach some of our courses online in the Fall. Will we lose our sense of community? What can we do to combat this? And, as an overarching question, how do the UC’s remain distinctive when the educational setting of small-scale classrooms and personal interaction remain under pressure?
Are we still a community of learners?
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