Pandemic pedagogy and facilitating connection
Keywords:asynchronous learning, connection, pandemic, oral history
The shift to online teaching during the global pandemic has been extremely challenging for educators and students alike. In this article, the author shares some of her own experiences with designing an asynchronous Musics of Asia course for undergraduates at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Although she has taught Musics of Asia many times before in person, teaching the same course asynchronously is an entirely new course preparation. One of the challenges of an asynchronous format is the facilitation of student connection. Some of the pedagogical strategies with trying to create meaningful interactions with students are discussed. Rather than assigning a traditional final term paper, the author chose to design a Final Oral History Project. Students were paired into groups and had to set up and conduct an oral history interview with one of the guest lecturers for the course. The guest lecturers—all highly esteemed musicians with long professional careers in music performance—were born in the following countries: China, India, Mongolia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. The results of the final project, and some of the strategies for cultivating connections in online, asynchronous teaching, are discussed.
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