Tag Archives: connecting to students

Using Our Humanity to Connect With Online Classes

In normal times, the student-professor relationship may not be foremost on instructors’ minds. But these times are not normal, and when we log in to class rather than walk through a door, it’s easy to name what’s missing: the emotional connection we develop with our students, and it is sorely lacking in remote learning.

Connecting with our students on a human level was easier in the pre-pandemic days when we might greet our charges in the halls or chat with them before a session. We’d welcome them as they entered the room or perhaps we’d stay after class to answer their questions. All this casual interaction came naturally when we shared the same space.

Covid changed that dynamic. Nevertheless, research supports the importance of the bond between learner and teacher, which is integral not only to student engagement but to retention rates. Instructors can, however, take steps to do something about it. The tips below can help develop the warmth and friendliness that is one key to the student-professor bond.

Use students’ names. The simple act of recognizing students as individuals can help them feel that their instructor cares enough to see them as more than a square on a screen. Using students’ names is a powerful tool to facilitate connection.

Conduct short one-on-one meetings. Taking the time—and it is extra time—to meet individually with students, especially early in the term, sets the stage for engagement. It is harder for students to feel disengaged if their professor has talked with them about their goals. Likewise, instructors feel more attached to students when getting to know more about them, forging that desirable bond.

Provide feedback regularly. Showing students how they are doing illustrates that the instructor is actively teaching and responding to students’ work. This sparks a positive feedback loop between instructor and student.

Maintain high expectations. Encouraging students to work hard is critical to their success and engagement. Despite the difficulties online learning presents, instructors can be a motivational force by expecting students to push themselves.

Make assignments relevant. Students emotionally connect to course content when assignments stoke their interest. In the business communication classroom, content is inherently useful for students’ lives outside the academy, but instructors can make assignments more interesting by using realistic scenarios and cases. Such pedagogical devices add an element of fun and thereby increase emotional engagement.

Foster student agency. The more students feel they have choice in their education, the more they engage with the material. By providing choices in topics or the way an assignment is delivered, instructors help motivate their students, leading to a mutually beneficial learning experience.

When students feel connected to their professor and their course, they feel more than engaged. They are also more likely to remain on our class rosters. In an era when student retainment has become a major issue, this is no mean feat.

Connecting to Students During the Pandemic… Nailing a Zoom Job Interview… Ancient Greeks Named What We’re Feeling Today

Connecting to Students During the Pandemic

The student-faculty connection is integral to learning, and some say using social media to reach out to students can bridge the gap as we all struggle through remote learning.

Here are some tips for reaching your students using social media.

  • Choose a platform to complement your usual communication modes. The best platforms allow students to follow you but do not require them to do so. Twitter and Instagram both meet this criterion.
  • Share your own coping strategies and experiences regularly, essentially modeling for students how to live in the coronavirus world.
  • Engage students by using polls, questions, and quizzes they can respond to.
  • Promote your institution to help students feel a part of their college. Tell students what’s going on behind the scenes to provide them with a valuable educational experience.
  • Tout student successes as steps towards admission into a graduate program or attainment of a job or internship.

From Faculty Focus

Nailing a Zoom Job Interview

With many organizations not operating in their bricks-and-mortar locations, Zoom job interviews have become the norm. A Zoom interview is much like a face-to-face interview, but be aware of unique-to-video considerations before logging on with a potential employer.

Familiarize yourself with the platform prior to the meeting. To prepare for potential technological challenges, be familiar with whichever platform the employer is using for the video interview. Ensure that your device is updated and ready to avoid last-minute glitches and delays.

Dress for success. Dress as you would if you were going for an in-person interview. Yes, that includes dress pants or a skirt and shoes. Stay away from stripes or prints, dangling or metallic jewelry, and glasses, all of which may reflect light in a way that makes looking at you difficult.

Don’t be too early. With in-person interviews, it’s always a good idea to be at the location fifteen minutes early. Not so on a Zoom interview. Be ready to log in, but don’t do so until shortly before the set time.

Consider the background your audience will see. Avoid distracting backgrounds such as bookcases, awards, art, and anything unusual to ensure the focus is on you, not your décor. Never use overhead lighting; any light should come from behind the monitor and be diffuse. Focus the camera so that you are seen from mid-chest up.

Be alert. Body language is especially important during online interviews. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and sit up straight. Practice active listening and take notes. Use your head and hands for gestures, and don’t be stingy with smiles.

Of course, prepare, prepare, prepare. Research the company just as you would if you were visiting its offices. Nothing can turn off a hiring manager more than not showing interest in the organization.

From Los Angeles Times

Ancient Greeks Named What We’re Feeling Today

Listless? Unmotivated? Bored? Fearful? Turns out we’re not the only era suffering from a panoply of woes. The ancient Greeks even had a word for it—acedia (uh-see-dee-uh).

After months and months of corona-induced fatigue, Zoom parties have lost their novelty. We’ve all seen too many posts of home-made bread. And while working from home in jammies may have been fun for a few weeks, those Covid-19 pounds are most decidedly not fun at all.

So it stands to reason that we are feeling acedia, another word for being in a funk, unable to complete tasks, or feeling hopeless and trapped. So why bother with a new word for what we already know we feel? Because according to experts, putting a name to an emotion helps us deal with it.

Next time you find yourself dreaming of going out for drinks with friends, hugging it out, or not thinking twice before jumping on a plane, remember you’re feeling acedia, and it’s part of the human condition.

From inc.com