Anthropology Department Teaching Mission for Spring 2021

The Department of Anthropology is dedicated to offering students an inclusive, stimulating and enriching learning experience. We continue to adapt the Anthropology curriculum to the constraints and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our courses this semester will utilize a range of approaches to teaching and learning to ensure that students obtain both the support and engaged learning experiences they need in order to succeed. These efforts are also integral to our long-term and growing commitment to making the Anthropology department inclusive for students who are diverse in terms of racialization, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationality, citizenship status, language, and abilities.

Our instructors of both introductory (large-lecture) and smaller lower- and upper-division courses strive to make students’ learning experiences as engaging and successful as possible. Some courses will include in-person instruction. Others have been adapted for hybrid or online formats, in addition to following recommended practices for in-person meetings, and it is possible that courses will need to be flexible to adapt to changing modes of delivery during the semester. “Hybrid” courses are those that are structured around a combination of in-person and online engagement with instructors and peers. “Online” courses will take place entirely via Canvas, Zoom, and other internet-based platforms.

Although not all instructors will incorporate online platforms in the same ways, the Anthropology department is committed to delivering hybrid and online courses in a manner that is accessible to students with a range of learning styles and needs. Specific practices for student accomplishment and support that we have successfully been implementing include:

  • requiring students to participate in online office hours or hangouts (as part of an engagement/participation assignment) to establish and maintain one-on-one student-instructor relationships, group review sessions, and discussions of campus resources
  • offering students opportunities for face-to-face learning in small groups, with an emphasis on interactive and collaborative learning
  • rotating groups of students who attend class in person
  • separating grades for attendance and engagement
  • improving the quality of student-instructor and student-student interactions by including online chat features with engagement and participation grades
  • incorporating online breakout groups to facilitate collaborative learning
  • emphasizing and supporting student holistic well-being by assigning weekly point-bearing wellness and positivity activities online and/or in person.

We will continue to ensure that all students can successfully access course content (lectures, assignments, texts and audio/video materials, etc.), participate in discussions, review course content, and receive one-on-one attention as part of a stimulating, productive, and fun learning experience.


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