Positive aspects of teaching online during COVID-19: Zoom backgrounds, MannyCam, and increased student engagement

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced my teaching and all interactions with my students to be conducted entirely online via Zoom from March 2020 through May 2021. Reflecting on this experience, I have been surprised to realize that there are several aspects of teaching online over Zoom which I will miss when I return to the classroom. In this paper I describe my teach-from-home studio which enabled me to maximize online interaction with my students, and how I was able to bring some much-needed humor into my online classes using Zoom virtual backgrounds and costumes and later a small art mannequin placed and a dedicated webcam. In addition, I discuss some ways I was able to encourage students to interact with each other and with me. A surprising observation was an increased level of engagement between myself and my online students, especially the distance education students with whom I normally have little interaction. There were also some things that did not work over Zoom, such as the elaborate classroom demonstrations which I normally use on a regular basis. This paper concludes with lessons learned along with things I hope to retain and/or change when I return to teaching in-person in a classroom. This paper was presented at the 180th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, June 7-9, 2021. This meeting, nicknamed "Acoustics in Focus" was a virtual, online meeting that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper was part of an Education in Acoustics special session, Reflections on Teaching Acoustics During a Pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025001
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 7 2021
Event180th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 8 2021Jun 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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