It has now been more than a year since the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in the United States. The Rensselaer community has stepped up in numerous ways during this ongoing health crisis. Among these is the creativity and ingenuity with which our faculty have approached their teaching.
“Pandemic-Proof Pedagogy at Rensselaer” is a new report showcasing some of the tools and strategies faculty members have used to maintain — and even enhance — the rigorous academic experience that is the hallmark of a Rensselaer education.
Produced by the Strategic Communications and External Relations team, this report specifically highlights methods used to provide experiential education, cultivate community, utilize virtual environments, and enhance student assessment and support. Since new pedagogical approaches continue to be developed every day, it is not intended to be — nor could such a document ever be — comprehensive.
Throughout our nearly 200-year history, Rensselaer has prized agility and inventiveness in the delivery of higher education. In 1824, when students at other universities were expected to sit passively in chairs and listen to lectures, Rensselaer founding professor Amos Eaton took students into fields and laboratories to gather data and experiment. Later, Rensselaer pioneered the “studio classroom” and the “flipped classroom.” So, teaching in innovative ways is a long and continuous tradition here.
The current pandemic has underscored the value of an education that prepares students to learn and lead in a world that demands adaptability and resilience. This is what Rensselaer has always provided, and whether a student resumes in-person instruction next week or not, it is what they can expect to receive.
Above all, this report is a recognition of the vital work of Rensselaer faculty, who continue to advance our pioneering legacy by producing pandemic-proof pedagogy.