|Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash|
Synchronous meetings in Zoom/Teams/Google Meet have become the default teaching method over the past year but fatigue is setting in and many wonder if we really need to meet this way so often. Lecture sessions can be pre-recorded and discussions can often become more reflective in asynchronous forums or other discussion tools where everyone has time to consider their opinion and not simply react spontaneously as in a synchronous meeting. Could the frequency of video meetings be due to the feeling that that is what we are expected to do? Lots of meetings make everyone feel like they are working hard, but could learning take place just as well, if not better, without them?
Some answers to these questions are discussed in an interesting article by Lucy Biederman in Inside Higher Ed, Goodbye, Zoom Fatigue. She teaches several classes very successfully without the use of video meetings and gives the following examples:
- An advanced poetry seminar where students work together during the scheduled course times each week, communicating on Google chat as they do, to create a website that features a deep dive into one significant American poem each week. They collaborated to provide background, context, close readings, writing prompts based on the poem and more.
- A business and professional writing course taught entirely on Slack, providing students experience with a new-to-them workplace application. Students communicated with me and one another on channels devoted to course topics and through direct messages.
- An introductory creative writing course where students maintain individual blogs in which they explore course texts and their own writing processes throughout the semester. A page on the learning management system shares every students' blog address. Students create a community of writers by reading and commenting on each other's blogs.