Title: In COVID19 Times, Kindness makes a Difference
Presenter: Dr Louise Curham (Lecturer)
Faculty / Division: FoAE
School / Unit: Information and Communication Studies
Session Type: Quick Talk
When: Wednesday, 17 November 2021 @ 12:15pm – 1:15pm)
Covid-19 effects have meant many students now exhibit some characteristics common to students from low socio-economic backgrounds – notably, many are chronically time poor and juggling caring responsibilities. This has led me to put into practice some relatively simple modifications to my teaching delivery to support these learners, modifications set out in research by Devlin and colleagues (2012) that proposes these students are better supported when teachers show flexibility, use accessible language, scaffold learning and make themselves available.
What I’ve really taken from Devlin et al is that kindness makes a difference. While sometimes I baulk at repeating my mantra of ‘remember about the CSU student wellbeing resources’ and ‘speak with me early and often’, a relatively low withdrawal rate suggests being attentive to the four domains Devlin et al identify are of significant value to students. The key change in my practice is my attitude towards these areas. I want to share this anecdote with colleagues in the spirit of responding to the prompts for CSUEdX 2021 – I observe that bringing awareness to these areas has aided connection with students in this disrupted world by demonstrating kindness.
Devlin, M., Kift, S., Nelson, K., Smith, L. & McKay, J. (2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds: Practical Advice for Teaching Staff. Office for Learning and Teaching, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.