What do we lose by teaching remotely? Here is another follow-up inspired by Patrick Honner in this age of COVID.
Honner makes the following important observation:
When I taught the IVT last week, I couldn’t walk around class and look over the shoulders of my students to see if they asserted that f(x) was continuous. I couldn’t easily eavesdrop and hear if groupmates were holding each other accountable. Determining whether or not students really know is embedded in my teaching routine, but with my routine disrupted, I’ve been teaching blind. And deaf. I threw the IVT out there and hoped for the best.
The solution was simple enough: Put an IVT problem on my next take-home assessment and make sure they know what they’re doing. But this scared me a little bit. “Do they really know?” is perhaps the most important question a teacher must ask. Overwhelmed by the many challenges of remote / hybrid learning, I haven’t been asking it enough. It’s another new routine I have to rebuild.
Yes, not being able to “walk around class and look over the shoulders of my students” is a major loss when teaching remotely, as is the fact that “I couldn’t easily eavesdrop and hear if groupmates were holding each other accountable.” I’m not convinced that Honner’s proposed solution is sufficient. But probably it’s all we’ve got.