Resilient Pedagogy

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Travis N. Thurston, Kacy Lundstrom, and Christopher González


Utah State University

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring of 2020, like many educators, I experienced a definite disruption in the structure and plans I had designed for my courses. I was teaching a mix of graduate and undergraduate classes—some with as few as seven students, others with as many as 98, some upper-level skills-based courses, others in the broad general education arena, but all of them designed exclusively for face-to-face delivery. In fact, due to some long-standing institutional prejudices against online instruction, the opportunity to teach in a mode other than face-to-face had never materialized over the 10 years I had taught in higher education. Even a one-time request to teach a summer class in the fully online space was denied, so I should have been wholly unprepared to make the “emergency pivot” to virtual, remote instruction. However, despite no real practice in non-face-to-face modalities, I didn’t find the pivot to be particularly stressful. I hesitate to make this claim in print, and I understand the immense privilege I have in so doing (e.g., highly functional Wi-Fi, a corner of my bedroom where I could add a desk, a partner with a flexible work schedule and the capacity to share in childcare duties, job security via tenure), but it’s true—it only took about a day of strategizing for each of the four different courses I was teaching to figure out how to make the transition.


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