I recently attended an ACERT lunchtime seminar on student wellness, self-care resources and supports, where students discussed their experiences while learning remote and transitioning back to in-person classes. The student panel shared how it felt to be returning to campus, their challenges, and effective approaches they appreciated while attending classes remotely.
Although these approaches were used during online classes, they can also be incorporated while teaching in-person:
- Students noted that using icebreakers was effective. Icebreakers can be used at the beginning of the semester and during classes. These can be simple exercises, like asking students, “How do you feel today in one word?” or “Use an emoji to show how you’re feeling.”
- The panel shared that screen breaks during zoom sessions and breaks for stretching and breathing exercises were helpful for releasing tension and refocusing.
- Students appreciated that faculty also used interpersonal methods such as asking students to share pictures of their home life or to share uplifting music for a community playlist.
- Some more technical steps that helped lower stress levels included allowing extensions for assignments as well as backtracking and allowing enough time while taking tests on Blackboard.
Lastly, students appreciated it when faculty showed that they’re human. This is helpful not only while working remotely but also when face to face. This feedback from students enlightened faculty to their experiences and wellness needs and shed light on what can be done to support them.