This time last year, many of us had enjoyed a summer zooming (no, not that kind of zoom) around the UK and further afield, attending and presenting at conferences, symposiums and seminars. Thinking back to last October, many of us had just returned home from the Modernist Studies Association (MSA) Conference 2019 in Toronto. This year, along with many other conferences and events, MSA has been moved online – we were able to watch the roundtable of authors celebrating MSA’s First Book Prize from the comfort of our own homes. This inspiring and insightful event is also available to watch if you missed it live, meaning online events like these are widely accessible and largely open-access. Academia has had to adapt this year, suddenly finding itself unable to hop on a train or flight to attend conferences, meet people and engage with new research.
You’re invited to Modzoom, a ‘Zoom of One’s Own’!
We’re really missing our offices, library spaces, chats over coffees and – most of all – our BAMS PGR Networking Day. We’ll be running virtual writing sessions for all BAMS members, setting up an informal space for us to see some friendly faces over zoom, share what you’re working on and get some words down on the page!
We’re thrilled to continue our dialogue on online pedagogy with these two pieces. In our February issue, Lee Skallerup Bessette kicked off the dialogue with her piece ‘Teaching Online in Extraordinary Times,’ and the next week’s dialogue pieces, by Alexander Jones and Sean Michael Morris, reflected on the need for resilience and the paradoxical importance of knowing when to admit defeat. This week’s trio of responses, by Cai Lyons, Laura Biesiadecki and Paul Thifault, discuss specific pedagogical practices and tools that might make teaching in the upcoming weeks and months that bit more fruitful.
We are delighted to share two further responses in our conversation on online pedagogies. In last month’s issue, Lee Skallerup Bessette kicked off the dialogue with her piece ‘Teaching Online in Extraordinary Times,’ and Naomi Milthorpe and Jessamy Perriam reflected on the importance of trying to make connections, and keeping pedagogy simple, in these testing times. These next two responses, by Alexander Jones and Sean Michael Morris, reflect on the need for resilience and the paradoxical importance of knowing when to admit defeat.
Over the past few weeks, academic Twitter has been ablaze with debates over the dos, don’ts and hows of pandemic teaching, ranging from the helpful (threads of tips and resources from zoom aficionados, encouragements to give up on unattainable perfection) to the very much not (debates on who has it harder, childless academics or academics with children). Frankly, it’s a mess.
We are delighted to share the first two responses in our dialogue centred around Teaching Online. In last month’s issue, Lee Skallerup Bessette started the conversation with her piece ‘Teaching Online in Extraordinary Times‘. Here, Naomi Milthorpe and Jessamy Perriam reflect on the importance of connection and simplicity in these challenging times.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Georgetown University
This is, to put it mildly, not business-as-usual, not normal. These are not “ideal learning conditions” for anyone, faculty, staff, or students. These actions that we are undertaking, to wholesale move entire campuses’ worth of courses from in-person to distance learning, is unprecedented. We are all under tremendous stress and pressure to try and make what seemed like it would be impossible, not just possible, but effective.