“New Normal:” GWS Teaching Statement

Students at UK experienced a “new normal” at UK in the fall semester. Classes included many options such as face-to-face instruction, hybrid, and distance learning, in “synchronous,” and “asynchronous” times. Most students found a schedule that met their needs and provided appropriate opportunities for learning.

In Spring 2021, GWS will again offer most of our courses online. Some will offer synchronous class meetings while others are fully asynchronous. Other classes will utilize a hybrid format, meaning that in order to minimize possible exposure to COVID-19, some class sessions will take place online and other sessions will meet in a classroom. Regardless of the class format, opportunities for interacting with instructors and peers in class will be provided so that students have an engaging experience. Discussion boards with interaction with the instructor and other students, and assignments, including group assignments, have proven to be great ways for students to engage in real time or through postings online. Further, some instructors are setting up open office hours or discussion hours where students can “drop in.”

For courses that are fully online, some will run asynchronously--that is, you will interact with the course content at the times that work with your own schedule, rather than logging in on specific days and times. That content may include pre-recorded lectures, small group projects, readings, virtual activities, and films or video clips. Synchronous classes may also involve similar content, but will also include a set time when the class will meet online as a group, like you would expect in a traditional classroom experience.

Regardless of the course format, all GWS classes are being taught by experienced instructors with whom you can communicate via email or Canvas message, and meet with – on the phone or online -- when you have questions or need help, just as always. Most instructors will have open office hours scheduled on Zoom, and all instructors will be available by appointment.

Gender and Women’s Studies is built on feminist pedagogy; in other words, GWS teaching has always been interactive, challenging the “banking method” of education where students are simply passive receptacles of “facts” delivered to them by faculty. Feminist pedagogy places a heavy emphasis on discussion and values experience as a way of knowing, while also challenging students to critically engage with real-world issues that extend beyond their own lives. These core principles have not changed, even as we adapt to life and learning during a global pandemic, and experiment with creative ways to teach while keeping our community as safe as possible.

If you have any concerns throughout the semester about your GWS coursework, you may contact me personally (melissa.stein@uky.edu) as the Director of Undergraduate Studies and I will help any way I can. There is no denying that these are challenging times for us all, and the GWS faculty remains committed to providing quality and engaging courses for all our students.

Melissa N. Stein
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Undergraduate Program

X
Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected

Loading