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Transforming on the Fly: One Model for Easy Synchronous Community in an Online Class

Transforming on the Fly: One Model for Easy Synchronous Community in an Online Class

Here is how we switched up what we are doing in class tomorrow.  Not every student can be on video (in fact, I've not had any luck getting on), so we have divided up our two-hour class, so the first hour is asynchronous and the second synchronous in a variety of relatively easy forms--video, conference call, google doc, even text or email from a phone. The point is to connect (Thurs March 19 2-4 pm).  

  • Sometime before 3 pm, all class members are invited to answer the prompts in a Google Doc.
  • 3-4 pm: We'll carry on a discussion synchronously for anyone who can join.  Some will be on Webex, some on a conference call strategically muted or on speaker phone, and some just on the Google Doc, using the "Comment" and "Discussion" features.  Or, you can text us from your phone or send an email. 

It is an amazing class and this way we balance intermittent connectivity and lived conditions that make participation difficult with our desire for community.  If you cannot do this in a class about "Transformative Learning," where can you?


Mar 19: Topic:  Transformative Learning in a Time of Crisis

I. Opening planning discussion: 

  • Recap of Group 1 and next steps
  • .Groups 2-4 Do you want to dial back the amount of reading? Change your focus or activity?  Our situation has changed entirely. Feel free to rethink accordingly.

II. Inventory Exercise:  Transformative Learning in a Time of Crisis

 Please write your comments before class (any time that is convenient for you) or during the first hour of class (2-3 pm on Thurs March 19).

Transformative Learning in a Time of Crisis:  Please respond on the Google Doc but only with information you feel comfortable sharing with your colleagues in this class:  


(1) How is each of us doing? What is each of us doing to take care of ourselves right now?
(2) What are we learning from all of this?  What are the lessons we are learning? How do we apply this to our future teaching?

(3) What is one “transformative” idea/experience/interaction we will take away from this class into the future (in teaching? In social interactions? In community?)





  • Davidson, Cathy N. (2017) Chapter Two, “College for Everyone,” The New Education

  • Vianna, E. & Stetsenko, A. (2019). “Turning Resistance into Passion for Knowledge with the Tools of Agency: Teaching-Learning about Theories of Evolution for social justice among foster youth.” Perspectiva, 37 (3).

Gutiérrez , Kris D., and Barbara Rogoff (2003),  “Cultural Ways of Learning: Individual Traits or Repertoires of Practice.” Educational Researcher, Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 19–25


I took the image as a screenshot from the Web.  I don't see an artist credit but will add one if I can find it.  Thank you to the anonymous artist out there.




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