As I write it’s snowing steadily outside. It doesn’t look as if it’s sticking though all the promises are that it will. It’s the last day before the Easter break. Assignments are due in. Classes have been thinly attended this week anyway. Many students will want to travel today, and with things as they are, they’ll probably want to do that before nightfall.
My workshop group has sent no work and it’s possible they won’t show up. I don’t relish the walk between the two campuses. I have office hours this morning. I’ve suggested to one whole group that they come in if they want to discuss their work. One student wants to see me anyway. I could cancel and offer to phone individuals who want to speak to me.
I could suggest to my workshop group that they send work electronically. They’ve actually said that they find the electronic feedback better than what they get in the classroom.
I’m undecided and have to make up my mind in the next forty minutes.
A senior member of staff said the other day that what makes us distinctive is our ability to work remotely. Well, I did deliver a class very successfully form Cyprus when I was stuck there because of the volcano in Iceland. Even though the broadband was distinctly dodgy. A student told me the other day that she didn’t come to class because the material I supplied via our Virtual Learning Environment was good enough. The Open University is, of course, excellent at distance teaching.
I think what makes us distinctive at the institution where I work is actually the care and attention we give to students. Will that help me to make my decision?
And maybe some of the excellent remote working systems we have set up are part of that care and attention. They may come in useful today.