Notes from the Field


A blog focused on supporting student capacity and increasing completion and equity

Summer Serpas
Summer Serpas
Summer Serpas's Blog

Zoom provides many tools that enable faculty to go beyond lecturing and foster students' higher order thinking skills, something that is critical to equity-minded teaching. Instructors can use these tools to create a humanized, rigorous learning environment that engages students and leads to deeper learning.

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Students taking online courses that are intentionally designed with opportunities for asynchronous student-to-student communication and collaboration reap the rewards of not only the cognitive benefits of sharing ideas with peers, but also the socio-emotional benefits of being a member of a learning community. This blog shares ways to create student-to-student communication and connection in asynchronous online courses.


An authentically caring instructor-student relationship is foundational to students' learning and success, particularly for minoritized students. A warm instructor presence that imparts empathy and awareness while building relationships and providing intrusive support is correlated with student persistence, success, and learning in online courses. In this blog, you'll learn how to build this instructor presence in online courses.