The rapid transition to virtual learning and teaching in early spring 2020 brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upended education for educators, students and parents alike. Alongside many challenges came innovative approaches and new opportunities to center inclusive practices.
A special issue in Ecology and Evolution explores lessons learned, providing strategies and tools to teach online, as COVID-19 continues to disrupt in-person learning. Sehoya Cotner, associate professor in Biology Teaching and Learning, served as an associate editor and three articles include CBS researchers — including faculty and undergraduate contributors.
“I’m proud to play a role in getting this special issue together. It provides easy-to-implement activities and plans for biology educators, especially in ecology and evolution, to deliver virtually. The presence of many early-career researchers, postdocs and student authors is also exciting to see,” says Cotner.
Three manuscripts include CBS authors, including:
Despite the challenges of rapidly changing learning environments, from in-person to virtual, Cotner is optimistic that some of these changes will persist when it is safe to return to the classroom and lab. She doesn’t want educators to return to the “pre-COVID normal.”
“This rapid transition forced educators to realize that they can be more flexible, pre-record lectures and make content available in multiple modes. This is a key part of inclusive teaching, especially when it comes to supporting students with disabilities or non-traditional students,” says Cotner.
— Claire Wilson