Educators are facing unprecedented challenges across the education spectrum due to COVID-19 and the 2020 racial reckoning. A sudden switch to providing education and learning opportunities for individuals of all ages entirely online is one such challenge. Finding ways to create the conditions for dialogue and interactivity across a fully participatory online community is another. While online education is not a new concept, for many educators, implementing online learning is new practice. Whether an educator is experienced or new to the profession, we are all in need of support.
Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) is a temporary response to a crisis that requires a sudden change in instructional delivery, typically from face-to-face to an online format. On the other hand, online teaching is permanent in its teaching mode and affords appropriate resources to design the course content with intentionality. An unprecedented number of educators have become ERT practitioners due to COVID-19.
The abrupt and unpredictable nature of ERT results in stress and anxiety for both instructors and students, which in turn may have a negative impact on the overall educational outcomes. More specifically, there are ERT-specific challenges affecting student engagement, communication, and academic integrity violations.
At the heart of the success of ERT lies our compassion for each other. Pedagogies and technologies are just a means for achieving our ultimate goal, which is student success. There is no perfect solution to ERT, and what matters the most may turn out to be cultivating and demonstrating genuine care for our students and mindfulness.