September 23, 2020
Volume 4, Number 3
Being Human Online During COVID-19
Even before COVID-19, there has long been an emphasis on “humanizing online learning,” or pushing back on the criticism of online learning as a solitary, disconnected learning environment. The #HumanizeOL movement emphasizes practices familiar to the Community of Inquiry framework, which consists of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence in online learning (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). The bottom line is that online environments can be engaging, humanizing places if they are designed intentionally.

In the context of COVID-19, it is important to also remember that we are humans in front of and apart from screens. While much of our work has always been connected to screens, this pandemic has made almost all of our work facilitated through screens, and we should recognize the toll that can take on ourselves and our students. We lose our sense of time because we have been stripped of our normal routines. The new term “Zoombie” refers to how one feels after being in too many Zoom meetings (see one definition of Zoombie, plus #zoombie in use). These pandemic-related struggles remind us that we have bodies that need to stretch, move, and rest; minds that need to reflect, slow down, prioritize, and orient. Some of this can happen with a screen, but we also need to step away.

In the spirit of attending to human needs, this teaching tip offers questions upon which to reflect.

Questions to Consider
After a relentless semester of moving to remote teaching, we likely need to attend to our own work and wellness to ensure we’re ready to support students. Some of the Your Work and Wellness questions are informed by Beating Pandemic Burnout, whose author has written Agile Faculty and has a contract to write a book on faculty burnout.

Your Work and Wellness
  • What habits and routines ground you during remote work?

  • Do you move in meaningful, restorative ways through exercise or other active means?

  • What boundaries can you set for work realms and rest? What signs have you set for when new or revised boundaries are needed?
  • When do you think your computer should be turned off for the day? When it's time to stop online "checking" (email, social media, task lists)?

  • When do you feel your best, and how can these points be extended, more frequent, or best used?

  • What you might need to put on hold or let go of in light of how life has changed?

  • What most motivates and energizes you?

Students and Teaching
  • Do you encourage student wellness with words and course design? We can remind students in the syllabus that all of the normal supports and resources usually listed in the syllabus are still available to them (counseling, tutoring), and additionally add what is available specific to current struggles, such as additional financial support.

To continue reading this article click here.

by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University
What I Love About Teaching Campaign
Hello Educators,
We are looking for your response to the question "What I love about teaching?"

Take a few moments to share your response by clicking the link below:
Events on Campus
Here are opportunities for our MSU Educators and our Eagle students:

MSU Educator/Professional Development Event - Today@ 2pm
  • Feedback Loops w/Dr. Deanna Mascle
Join Dr. Deanna Mascle in exploring the development and implementation of "feedback loops" in your course. Feedback loops bring a class community together as learners and humans, teaching valuable critical thinking practices as well as content. Deanna will share how to build feedback loops into each work cycle so students support and teach each other.
Location: WebEx
Time: 2-3pm
Registration: Click here

MSU Event :
  • Resume Blitz - Wednesday, September 23rd & Thursday September 24th 10am-2pm. Sign up for this event by clicking here. Make sure your resume is ready for the Career Fair by getting personalized feedback from real employers and career professionals.

  • Career Fair - Wednesday, September 30th, 12pm to 3pm. Access the event by clicking here: Students, alumni, and community members of all majors are invited to attend virtually. Attendees can find information on full-time jobs, co-ops, internships, and seasonal positions as well as graduate schools.

MSU Trainings:
  • Blackboard Tools - Faculty and teaching staff may participate in individual one-hour trainings that focus on how to use Blackboard tools to accomplish various online teaching strategies.
  • Blackboard 101: Building Your Course
Oct. 12 10-11am; Oct. 20 3-4pm; October 26 5-6pm
  • Blackboard 201: Interaction and Collaboration
Oct. 14 10-11am; Oct. 22 3-4pm; Oct. 28 5-6pm
  • Blackboard 301: Assessing Students
Oct. 16 10-11am; Oct. 23 3-4pm; Oct. 30 5-6pm

Click here to register for the Blackboard Tools training

  • Online Teaching Workshop - A comprehensive training workshop about best practice teaching strategies that facilitate online learning.
  • Four Two-hour Blocks Across a Week – 3-5pm each day on SEPT 29, SEPT 30, OCT 1 and OCT 2 (attend all sessions)
  • Day-long session – 9am-5pm on Saturday, OCT 10

Register by sending your selection to
ASU + GSV Virtual Summit
September 29 - October 1, 2020

The Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning
For more information on the summit and to register click here

If you plan on attending the summit, let me know so we can build a plan.
IUPUI Assessment Institute
October 25 - 28, 2020

Assessment Institute
For more information on the institute and to register click here

If you have any additional questions contact Dr. Shannon Harr @
Virtual Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education
November 5 - 7, 2020

This Changes Everything
For more information on the conference and to register click here

If you plan on attending the conference, let me know so we can build a plan.
Magna (Online) Webinars
24/7 Professional Development for Faculty
Featured Webinar:

How Can I Get Students to Engage with Course Content Before Class?
This program addresses how student misconceptions about course content can become barriers to learning and offers several techniques to help teachers facilitate the adoption of alternative viewpoints in their students

Benefits of Magna Webinars:
  • Each webinar takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • All webinars are available on your schedule since they are online and easily accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Webinars include supplemental materials such as bibliographies and handouts.
  • Certificates of completion are available for professional portfolios and Faculty 180

Accessing Webinars:

These licensed Magna resources are available through a password-protected website. For access, educators need to:
  • Log into MSU’s employee portal;
  • Look under the My Classes (Blackboard) section for the Magna Training Site;
  • If Magna isn't showing up in your list of courses, please send a request to be added to
  • When you click on the Magna Training Site, the Blackboard shell will open. Select Magna Campus and then launch the LTI link, select 20-Minute Mentor Commons. After selecting 20-Minute Mentor Commons, choose Teaching Face-to-Face then Teaching Strategies. Chose the featured title

Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University