Hello, Letters colleagues!
I’d like to introduce myself as curry’s humble substitute for our department’s Technology Coordinator as he goes on sabbatical for the fall. If you’re like me, you’re spending a lot of your summer prepping for an online fall semester in our COVID-19 world, so I wanted to reach out to you now with some Letters-relevant highlights from this week’s PROJECT Online Teaching Institute. You can self-enroll in the PROJECT Canvas course for extensive resources, including recordings of all the Zoom sessions.
The worldwide protests seeking justice in the names of George Floyd and countless other people of color have no doubt been at the forefront of our hearts and minds, and this ongoing conversation will inevitably enrich what, how, and why we teach. In that spirit, social justice, equity, and our community college system-wide call to action were the center of PROJECT’s institute.
As Ibram X. Kendi writes in How to Be An Antiracist, “What we say about race, what we do about race, in each moment, determines what–not who–we are. […] [B]eing an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination” (10, 23).
So let’s get to work.
If you learn best through audio/video, enjoy my quarantine hair in this recap. If you’re a reader and hyperlink clicker, keep reading!
Choose the adventure that meets you where you’re at:
- If you’re still feeling fledgling in online education and issues of equity, start by exploring…
- Unit 0 in PROJECT’s Canvas course for the basics of online instruction. For composition instructors in particular, the embedded videos about Zoom annotations are useful for critical reading exercises and peer review activities, and the breakout rooms are also great for group discussions and activities.
- Unit 4.A1 for Social Justice and Equity Center Director Jodi Mulhall’s extensive intro to Equity-Minded Online Instruction. Visit her slides and/or Zoom recording for key terms and best practices for creating an equitable online classroom.
- If you’re brainstorming how to develop content and assignments for your fall courses with equity and social justice at the fore, get inspired by…
- Sociology colleague Sean Davis sharing of Opportunity Agenda’s 8 Lessons for Talking about Race, Racism, and Racial Justice, many of which–counternarratives, solutions, specificity (distinctions), and descriptions–inherently dovetail with our discipline. Consider adding a quick post to the Writing with Machine’s blog about how you incorporate one or more of these 8 lessons in your teaching. Here is an example of how I did that in under 5 minutes.
- How the institute suspended synchronous sessions on June 10th to demonstrate solidarity with the #shutdownacademia movement. Click the hashtag for necessary reading.
- How your colleagues have already deepened this ongoing, necessary conversation in Department Chair Maria Figueroa’s email from Thursday, 6/4 (also attached to this email), as well as Aaron Roberts’ blog and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy archive.
- If you’re already writing/revising syllabi and assignments centered on social justice and equity, work with…
- Five Tips for Equitable Syllabus (Unit 1.B4 in the Canvas course)
- Religious Studies colleague Chase Way’s talk on active learning strategies in the context of social justice and equity, inspired by the work of Paulo Freire and Civil Rights activist Septima Clark, both of whom championed treating students with love and support so they could see themselves as capable. Chase provides concrete examples of how to design discussion boards, quizzes embedded within Canvas Studio videos, Work-Based Learning assignments, and ePortfolios.
- Unit 2.C2 curry’s Intrusive Practices for monitoring student participation and progress, especially in Weeks 1-3.
Lastly, check out our Letters Department online resources page that will go live on Monday, the 15th. Here, you will find tons of resources to help you (re)shape your online courses to best support our wonderful students through these challenging times. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.