Dear Woo Singers,
Hope you had a great start of the term!
As most classes are still conducted online, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts and observations.
I taught two zoom classes this week. One where most students turned on the camera and another where most had the camera turned off. I found it easier and more enjoyable to teach when I could see students’ faces. For example, if I saw puzzled faces, I would slow down and explain things differently. If I saw bored faces, I would crack a joke or give practical examples to enliven the material. Without visual cues from students, it is much harder to deliver an engaging class or gauge whether the pace of my teaching is good for learning.
It is understandable that not everyone can turn on the camera because of different reasons (e.g., environment at home, shyness). There may also be norms already established in your programs and courses. In any case, I still would like to share this observation with you so that you can consider it for future classes. We know all along that nonverbal communication is important, but this week really highlighted this point for me. Teachers are human beings too and we rely on students’ responses to communicate effectively. We probably remember students better too if we see their nods and smiles, rather than a black screen with a name.
We’ve had some really low temperatures this week. Stay warm, and welcome back!