In an effort to expand our conversations around teaching and learning, CNDLS is pleased to announce its new podcast series: What We Are Learning About Learning. In order to be as helpful as possible to faculty currently designing their Spring 2021 courses, in our inaugural episode we are focusing on lessons gained by our students during the pandemic and the shift to remote learning.
For this episode, we interviewed a diverse group of Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students, who shared their gratitude for faculty efforts, candidly discussed both the good and the bad of attending online classes this fall, and offered suggestions for improving the student experience in the spring.
Conspicuously, much of the data gathered over the last nine months confirms broader trends in the scholarship of teaching and learning concerning community. The key lesson that emerges from this data and the firsthand experiences of our students is the importance of connection for learning. Efforts to foster connection yielded dividends this past fall, will do so again during the Spring 2021 semester—and will be similarly valuable when we return to the physical classroom.
More specifically, what emerges is an important answer to the question of what it means for students to be “engaged” in our courses. In the podcast, students share the value of engagement in four different but mutually reinforcing areas of connection to:
- their professors
- their peers
- course content, and
- their local communities
Students highlight and praise the creativity of Georgetown faculty who intentionally design for such connectivity. Despite the serious challenges related to the pandemic and the macro-level forces at play, overall these students emphasize the difference made by careful course design and attest to the depth of learning that is still possible.
Check out the full episode to hear more from our students!