Lucas Center Blog

News From The Student World

March 23, 2020  / Jackie Greene, EdD  / Tags: students, learning, covid, sfpp, teaching

As many of you know, the Lucas Center sponsors a student-faculty partnership program that pairs faculty members and students who are interested in exploring teaching and learning.  The program is continuing and thriving throughout this time of “virtual learning.” Our weekly meetings with students are uplifting, enlightening, and just plain fun.  Each of the previous Blog posts contain bits of advice and wisdom that emerge from those meetings.  I hope you are “listening” to their voices through our Blog. This blog post is devoted to sharing some additional student insights about this unique time of teaching and learning.

Insight #1: Students are missing you!!!!

  • Students love to receive communications from you; your efforts to reach out to them signal you are there…wherever there is. When students do not hear from you on a regular basis their anxiety level increases. You bring stability and reassurance that learning is a social effort; one in which you continue to be engaged. The Lucas Blog posts have provided information on multiple ways you can continue to have some face to face encounters with your students. They like those encounters the best.

Insight #2: Students like transparency!

  • Students are patient when they know what is going on--IF you don’t have each tiny component of your course “figured out…” explain your challenges to them. Reassure students you WILL continue to work through the challenges of transitioning some course components to the virtual world. OR; take inventory of what is absolutely necessary for their learning success and eliminate what is not feasible. Clearly communicate those decisions to your students. Multiple Lucas Blog posts offer advice on how to transition course components to virtual platforms.

Insight #3: Students need structure!

  • Students thrive with structure. Does your Canvas Course offer a structured, logical learning experience? Students continue to share that using clearly labeled Weekly Modules as a Canvas Course structure supports their learning and relieves frustration and anxiety. If you need some help with structuring your Canvas Course for an optimal learning experience contact your Instructional Designer.

Insight #4: Students need guidance/alternative ideas about HOW to meet Civic Engagement, Field Trip and Community Service requirements!

  • Students are anxious about meeting these course and graduation requirements. Being creative and open to out of the box thinking is the answer--along with clear communication. 
  • Tour from your/their sofa. Virtual tours and exhibits of more than 500 museums from across the globe are available online, compliments of Google Arts & Culture.
  • Additional sites offer terrific alternatives to field trips. Google Street View and the EarthCam websites offer opportunities to explore iconic sites and cities; to explore the world of nature use https://org
  • The American Red Cross offers an opportunity to complete Community Service/Civic Engagement Hours by donating blood. Blood supplies are at historically low levels.  Donation sites are listed on their website. Red Cross practices Social Distancing and provides health check-ups to all who donate.  You can not require this alternative but, you can put it on a list of alternative ways to meet this course/graduation component.

Insight #5: Students continue to be in transition

  • Students, like all of us, continue to be in various stages of transition. Each day brings new challenges in terms of housing, employment, meeting basic needs, perhaps childcare, plus navigating the mixed messages from those in power.  The future is uncertain; uncertainty breeds anxiety. Their/our brains are assaulted with volumes of “data” on an hourly basis that we must analyze to make decisions. SO,
  • Be patient, continue to communicate clear messages, offer students structured, feasible, learning experiences, be creative.
  • Use the ideas and resources posted to the Lucas Center Blog; we are here to help.

If you have additional insights, comments, or questions post them to the Lucas Center Blog. Email Bill or Jackie, invite us to a Zoom or Microsoft Team meeting. Be safe, innovative, and practice mindfulness.