5 Teaching with Care

Moving your teaching to the internet really requires pedagogies of care. For your students, and for yourself.

One of the challenges of moving online is that we need to think more consciously about how we are going to ‘care’ for our students. A smile in the classroom can mean a great deal. As do the informal chats with students before or after class, or in the halls, or when you pass each other by on campus. There’s also a deeper sense of caring that involves thinking about different learner needs and how you can design your course to be as equitable as possible. How are you going to incorporate that ‘caring’ in your messages? In your videos? In how you design your assignments?

At the same time, our face-to-face classes, and our face-to-face routines wrap some sanity around how much work we do as educators. It’s easier to stop working when you leave the office and go home. It’s harder to stop working when your home is your office.  We need to balance the care we want to show to our students, and the care we are giving to ourselves.

Think about the first five minutes of class. You smile, you check-in with people, you chat with some students, etc. We need effective ways of doing this online.


Build yourself a communication schedule to connect with your students. Come up with ways to regularly connect with your students so that they know you care about their success. Build this into your syllabus as part of your social contract with the students.

Optional Resources


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12 Key Ideas: An Introduction to Teaching Online Copyright © 2020 by Dave Cormier and Ashlyne O'Neil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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