I’ve recently come to realize that I haven’t added to this blog in about a month. Yet my last blog post feels, at the same time, both like it was yesterday and like it was so long ago. Since then, I’ve been working to put my course materials online, to help our writing program move to online instruction, and to think through the many challenges that our end-of-semester assessment will face in the midst of a global pandemic.
As it has elsewhere, and to many other people, this surge of closures, moves online, and panic buying has highlighted many disparities in higher education. Will the wages we pay contingent laborers allow them to stock up on food supplies that are recommended? Will the move to online learning negatively impact students of low socioeconomic status, who might not be able to sign on to a Zoom meeting or turn their work in in a timely manner? Is there a way we might make programmatic, curricular, and pedagogical decisions that could mitigate some of the impact of this pandemic?
As the above paragraph suggests, I’m mostly filled with questions at the moment. I’ve found myself making a great many decisions that significantly impact teachers and students, and having to do it quickly. And I’m still on Spring Break!
In the coming days, I’ll try to keep a record of my decision-making here, as I try to puzzle through the work of leading a writing program in the midst of such rapidly-changing circumstances.