ZOOMing into a Community: Exploring Various Teaching Practices to Help Foster Sense of Community and Engagement in Emergency Remote Teaching
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Educators across the world have been forced to shift their courses online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As face-to-face courses become online courses during this unprecedented time, instructors are thrown into emergency remote teaching (ERT). Where online learning involves “experiences that are planned from the beginning and designed to be online, emergency remote teaching (ERT) is a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances…[which], will return to that [original] format once the crisis or emergency has abated” (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, & Bond, 2020, para 13). The instructional demands of ERT can be overwhelming in that many instructors are trying to navigate new online teaching approaches to ensure their students have a sense of community (SoC), that is a sense of belonging and interactivity, and are still engaged, motivated, and involved in the course. Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing platform, has boomed in popularity becoming the go-to tool many instructors use to host, facilitate, and integrate within their course, as well as to ensure a SoC is fostered and maintained. Guided by the social constructivism theory and community of inquiry (CoI) model, this quick hits piece, aims to answer the question: In what ways might Zoom foster and sustain a SoC community in ERT?
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