Faculty Forum - October 15, 2021 - Of Mics and Masks
From Andy Jones
All of us are masked in the classroom this fall, and some of us are using microphones to compensate for the potential muffling, breathing, and projection challenges that accompany masks. For this month’s Faculty Forum, titled “Of Mics and Masks,” we discussed primarily audio challenges that come with teaching while masked, teaching while capturing content, and teaching while some students are joining classes both remotely and synchronously.
We discussed questions such as the following:
- What size class warrants use of a microphone?
- Should one clip a portable microphone to one’s mask?
- How does one gauge student comprehension when we can’t see most of their faces?
- How do we visually express enthusiasm and empathy when students can’t see most of our faces?
- Does “distance learning” begin in the tenth row of a large lecture hall?
- Can one really teach effectively when deploying the strategy of “Zoom in the Room”?
- Should masked faculty use larger gestures?
We heard from faculty teaching large, face-to-face classrooms, dynamic classroom performers, and masters at interactive teaching.
Instructors may be interested in these tips for teaching with a mask from the University of Michigan and Wake Forest University, which are also linked from the “Transitioning to In-Person Teaching” page of the Keep Teaching website.