Welcome to the Lucas Center Blog
In order to improve communication with faculty and the broader FGCU community, the Lucas Center is starting a teaching and learning blog. Our goal is share information and provide helpful resources. At this moment, what is most pressing for faculty is acknowledgment that anxiety induced by the presence of a serious public health crisis coupled with the transition to remote instruction is quite stressful. We hope that the information provided in this forum can help relieve some of that stress. Please return regularly to this blog to find resources and helpful tips shared with the Lucas Center by faculty, staff, and students. In addition, we are regularly monitoring the resources being assembled by other institutions, and we will provide links to them here.
Over the course of the last two days we have had several conversations with faculty and students, and they have been generous with their time and their wisdom regarding how to handle the disruption created by our response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Distilled to its essential components, the message they would like their colleagues and their teachers to receive is as follows:
- Communicate regularly. Tell your students clearly what you do and do not know about how the course and the semester will play out. Show your students that you care that their lives have been disrupted by this transition to remote instruction. Let them know that their health and well-being is your first priority. The virus has already created a lot of anxiety, and the disruption to their routine is quite stressful. Have compassion; convey understanding. Everything else will follow.
- Do your best to maintain consistency and a routine that is as close to your typical schedule as possible. Uncertainty is stressful, and many students are anxious. Providing them with structure will relieve some stress and facilitate learning.
- Be patient with them and students will be patient with you. They don’t need to know you have everything figured out. However, they would like to know that you are working to get organized, and they will make suggestions about what they have found effective in online/remote instruction if you ask them. Let them help. It will give them a sense of purpose and control—something we all could use right now.
- If you have to adjust assignments or assessments, consider whether the newly created task is feasible under present circumstances. Keeping things simple doesn’t mean reducing rigor. Students will be grateful if they are able to complete their work as efficiently as possible. Making use of technology that they are already familiar with is a sound strategy.
The staff of the Lucas Center will compile resources that we believe will be of use to faculty, and we will share them on this blog in the very near future. Please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com) if you have any additional resources to share or topics you would like us to cover.