COVID, violence against BIPOC, and the upcoming election have many of our students facing extreme stress, isolation, and anxiety. When faced with such strain, it can be difficult for students to learn (Immordino-Yang and Damasio 2007). To help, try to give students agency in your classroom using the following suggestions: Ask students to co-create assignments or exams. Create an anonymous, no-points Canvas quiz asking “What can I do to help you learn during this stressful semester?” Give students options in how they demonstrate they’ve completed a learning outcome. Throughout the course, center empathy, connection, and community.
Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen and Antonio Damasio (2017). We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education. Mind, Brain, and Education 1(1): 3-10.