October 1, 2020

Stommel Comments on Hybrid Instruction

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of Digital Studies, was interviewed by Education Dive on how colleges that are offering hybrid instruction this fall can support their students.

Several issues may arise with hybrid classrooms, especially when in-person and remote students are tuning into the same lecture. This structure has the potential to make a virtual student feel like a “fly on the wall,” said Jesse Stommel, a digital learning fellow and senior lecturer at the University of Mary Washington, a public institution in Virginia. 

Although instructors can use technology to boost remote students’ participation, that group’s needs may be different from those of in-person students. Online learners, for example, could be more likely to have a chronic illness or be taking care of someone who is sick, Stommel said. 

“The best thing that institutions can do is make sure that they are creating asynchronous opportunities for learning for those students,” he said. 

Some institutions that only recently announced their fall plans have given instructors little time to prepare for hybrid courses. And others walked back their plans for an in-person fall as the coronavirus is surging throughout many parts of the country. 

“Institutions should have made strong, assertive decisions about what the fall was going to look like so that students and faculty could start planning,” Stommel said. “Most institutions have instead waited until the very last minute to decide what the fall was going to look like.” Read more.

Stommel Interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer of Digital Studies, was recently interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education for an article entitled, “How Your Syllabus Can Cater to Every Student.”

Imagine, for instance, an online course in which some students crave real-time interaction, and others are unable to participate. As Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer and digital-learning fellow at the University of Mary Washington, in Virginia, said when I was working on our recent report on preparing for an online fall, a professor could give students the option of attending a discussion in Zoom — or writing a reflection, or posting to a discussion board. In addition to providing access, Stommel said, such choices can lead to better discussions since students get to pick a format that appeals to them. Read more.

How Your Syllabus Can Cater to Every Student (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Stommel Comments on Surveillance Platforms to Curb Cheating

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer in Digital Studies, offered comments for an Inside Higher Ed article entitled, “Is the fight against cheating during remote instruction worth enlisting third-party student surveillance platforms?”

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer in digital studies at the University of Mary Washington and co-founder of the Digital Pedagogy Lab, said “cheating is a pedagogical issue, not a technological one. There are no easy solutions.”

The work doesn’t begin “with an app or a license for a remote proctoring tool,” he said. Instead, teachers have to start by talking “openly to students about when and how learning happens,” so they take ownership of their educations.

“We have to start by trusting students and using approaches that rely on intrinsic motivation, not policies, surveillance and suspicion.” Everyone wants this pivot to all-online instruction to work, Stommel added, and anxieties about testing are high. But maintaining “the status quo isn’t possible and so-called solutions like remote proctoring tools will create many more problems than they solve.” Read more.

Stommel Comments on Remote Learning in Educational News

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer in Digital Studies, has been interviewed by several educational outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, about teaching remotely and its impact on issues of accessibility and equity. Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, former director of Digital Learning at UMW, are holding remote office hours for instructors. “We don’t promise answers, but we will work with those who show up to find creative, compassionate, generative solutions — and likely more questions,” they told The Chronicle.

‘On a Desert Island With Your Students’: Professors Discuss the Weirdness of Teaching Remotely in a Pandemic (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Colleges flock to online proctors, but equity concerns remain (Education Dive)

As Times and Students Change, Can Faculty Change, Too? (Inside Higher Ed)

To Grade or Not to Grade? During Coronavirus, That Is The Question (edsurge.com)

Stommel Comments on Grading During Coronavirus

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of Digital Studies, commented on an EdSurge.com article, “To Grade or Not to Grade? During Coronavirus, That is the Question.”

Crises tend to insert new words into our lexicon. For educators in the era of coronavirus, one such term is “continuity.” It’s become both a strategy and a rallying cry as classrooms darken and instruction shifts online.

Except—striving for continuity may be a bit delusional right now. Or it may be an effort that betrays misplaced priorities. That’s the view of Jesse Stommel, a digital learning fellow and senior lecturer at the University of Mary Washington.

“I don’t want there to be ‘continuity.’ I want my students to deal with their lives,” he says. “I don’t have any expectations of continuity in my course. I let go of that the instant this started to happen.”

Like Stommel, some faculty and administrators are wondering whether the pandemic demands they shed traditional practices, at least temporarily, rather than sustain them at all costs. One custom they’re reconsidering? Grading. Read more.

Stommel Mentioned Chronicle of Higher Education

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of digital studies, was mentioned in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled, “How Can You Find Time to Connect with Students – When There’s Never Enough Time?” The article lists several professors to follow on Twitter who can provide useful insight on this topic, including Stommel, “[who] explains his discomfort with the idea of ‘scaffolding,’ which he argues breaks learning into neat chunks without being responsive to students, in an essay for the American Association of University Professors. Read more.

Stommel Comments on EdTech Apps

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of digital learning, commented on the ubiquity of edtech apps and tools and the dangers they poise to student privacy on an education blog.

“The onus has to be on the tech companies themselves to educate the users about data security and data monetization … say ‘here’s why I’m collecting it, here’s what I hope to do with it, here’s why it should matter to you’,” Stommel said. He also shared concerns about colleges and universities adopting these technologies widely on campuses. “When certain companies become universal, staff and students don’t have a way to say ‘I won’t use it because I don’t want them to have my data’,” he said.  Read more. 

 

Stommel Quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of digital studies, was recently quoted in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “A Teacher’s New Year’s Resolution: Stop Fixating on the Data,” which encourages teachers to lessen the focus on objective measures, rather than learning itself.

Stommel discusses scaffolding, which the author defines as “a popular teaching practice in which faculty members provide support and assistance for students as they initially try to carry out a task or activity, and then gradually reduce that assistance.” The author then shares a recent tweet by Stommel, who said, “We’ve taken for granted that scaffolding is necessarily good. Any pedagogical approach should be looked at with one eyebrow raised. Especially one as widely accepted as instructional scaffolding. Scaffolding should be done with students, not before they’ve arrived on the scene.” Read more.