11/9-30 Homework

Reflect on your plan to embed trauma informed pedagogical practices into your syllabus and course activities.  Please share the results of the implementation in the form of an audio recording, video recording, presentation, graphic, or written reflection.

One Reply to “11/9-30 Homework”

  1. Cynthia Wiseman on Trauma-Information Pedagogy in Fall 2020 courses.
    This semester I have kept focused on implementing trauma-informed pedagogical strategies in my online courses, with more consistency and clearer results in some contexts than in others.

    Throughout the semester in all courses I have, first of all, tried to keep focused on empathy and compassion in responding to students: I have kept flexible deadlines for submission of assignments and no penalties for outstanding work that is submitted up to the last week of class. I have provided my phone number for calls or texts and responded as soon as I received any communications, even at 3:45 am for an hour with one student in distress. I have sent out weekly email messages expressing gratitude for students’ participation and encouraging everyone to hang in until the end. I try to frame my messaging in a positive light while at the same time acknowledging the pain that we are all experiencing.

    To support students academically, I have tried to create explanations for some of the assignments to explain the value of the assignment, e.g., the skills that can be developed or the knowledge that an assignment yields and the relevance of that information in their academic and professional career.

    To support online learning on the Bb platform, I added icons for each type of assignment so that students can more easily recognize the assignment and whether it is high-stakes or low-stakes. I also provided due dates for each weekly unit and posted this information online in Course Information > Syllabus and Course Information > Course Schedule, as well as posting a weekly announcement on Sunday evenings of the work for that week, due the next Sunday and emailed that announcement to all students on Sunday after midnight. The course link to the Weekly Unit is also provided at the bottom of each announcement to facilitate navigation to the Weekly folder with links to all readings, assignments, and projects due that week. The announcements and emails all served as weekly reminders about work for the week but also served to make sure that students knew I was there. It was a way to reach out to them.

    In an effort to ease some of the anxiety and lift some spirits I also incorporated more graphics and clip art in my weekly announcements and throughout the Bb course, e.g., I have a runner in a competition breaking through the finish line on the message that I just sent out for the last 2 weeks of the semester.

    To further support the online learning experience, even though this was an online course with no scheduled f2f sessions, I scheduled 3-4 zoom sessions for students who wanted to attend, an effort that attracted a small core group of students who reported that they appreciated the opportunity to make connections with other students and to review the material.

    Many of these trauma-informed pedagogical practices are not new to me or new to my course. I have, however, after the workshop this past summer begun to understand the value of such practices implemented consistently throughout the course on a weekly basis. I have made sure that I communicated with all student 2+x/week, posted all information in multiple places, clarified all assignments and explained the purpose and objectives for each assignment, added some visuals to facilitate navigation and raise the spirits and generally tried to make myself available. In this way students hopefully felt that their participation in this course brought some comfort and stability, especially in these times of great instability.

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