Teaching and Learning In COVID times: A Reflective Critique of a Pedagogical Seminar Course

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Teaching pedagogical seminar courses requires interactive, hands-on sessions. However, as schools across the U.S. pivot online on a very short notice amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several adjustments had to be made. These include the delivery of lessons and forms of communication. In this chapter, I provide a visual narrative of my experience teaching twelve pre-service teachers at a liberal arts college in Upstate New York. In the remaining six lessons following the pivot, the seminar was conducted synchronously, once a week, for an hour per session. The students who came from different parts of the States, attended my methods of teaching reading and writing for elementary schools course through Zoom. Despite the class starting at 7:30 am, students in this course were present and actively participating. To understand my pedagogical moves, I reflected on the transition to remote learning  using the Community of inquiry (COI) framework, a social constructivist model for creating deep and meaningful learning in online and blended environments. While the framework, which comprises three dimensions: teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence, is not developed for examining learning processes in times of pandemic, it is helpful for thinking about my instructional approaches. Research has shown that there is a relationship between the three presences and students’ perceived learning, satisfaction with the course, satisfaction with the instructor, actual learning, and sense of belonging (see Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Arbaugh, 2008; Richardson, et. al., 2017). By looking at the instructional design, course facilitation techniques and learning activities, I gained insights for sustaining students’ learning in an unplanned online environment. Hence, the purpose of articulating my thoughts guided by COI is to offer a reflective critique for broadly thinking about reconstructing a pedagogy during a global crisis.


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ABAS, S. (2021). Teaching and Learning In COVID times: A Reflective Critique of a Pedagogical Seminar Course. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 10(1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/jotlt/article/view/31392
Reflective Essay