What Happens When the Masks Come Off? Moving Forward, What Tools and Practices Should Stay with Us from Remote Learning?

Concurrent Session 3
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Brief Abstract

Throughout the pandemic, educators have had to rely on remote learning and online tools. As COVID-19 cases decrease and students return to campuses, what online tools and practices should stay with us? What has been discovered that will support student learning as we go forward? 


Jane Moore is the Director of MERLOT Editorial and Professional Development Services. She also serves as Editor for MERLOT's Teacher Education Board. Jane has taught online since 2002, and after 27 years in the elementary classroom and 16 years in higher education full time, has embraced online learning with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Dr. Cris Guenter, Professor of Education at California State University, Chico She specializes in teaching that focuses on arts education, computer graphics, and technology in education. Her research interests include technology's intersection with the arts, authentic assessment, and online instruction. She teaches credential and graduate level courses in the arts, technology, and curriculum development. In 2008 she was recognized as the National Art Educator of the Year. Cris has experience in giving engaging keynote presentations for K-university educators at the state and national levels. She has been involved with MERLOT since its inception in 1999.
Dr. Esperanza Zenon is an Associate Professor of Physical Science at River Parishes Community College (RPCC). She is the current Division Coordinator for Math and Natural Sciences at RPCC. She serves as the Chair of the RPCC EESTEM II Grant Project Committee, which engages in action research aimed at improving teaching and learning in RPCC’s STEM and Technical classes. She is also a member of the RPCC Online Course Review Committee, which establishes standards and practices for all online classes at RPCC. Dr. Zenon is very passionate about STEM equity and serves on the Executive, Membership, and Strategic Planning Committees for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), a consortium of state and local agencies, corporations, and national organizations which work to build educators’ capacity to implement effective solutions for increasing student access, educational equity, and workforce diversity. She is also involved with several organizations that work to make education more affordable for students through the utilization of Open Education Resources (OER), to include the Open Textbook Network (OTN), the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) OpenStax Partnership, and MERLOT. Dr. Zenon has a Master of Arts degree in Physics from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in Science/Mathematics Education from Southern University.
As the senior instructional designer at Clarkson University in New York State, my passion is creating engaging, diverse teaching and learning experiences for students and faculty. I am recognized as an Open SUNY Fellow Expert Online Instructional Designer and am also a certified Quality Matters Master Reviewer; I have reviewed or observed hundreds of online and blended course using various checklists including the OSCQR. I am a member of the MERLOT Teacher Education Editorial Board and a MERLOT Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire. Since earning my NYS teacher certification and a Master’s degree in Educational Computing from Buffalo State College in 2000, I have enjoyed teaching in higher education. Also I have had the pleasure of using my entrepreneurial skills to start several businesses, the most recent being Mobile Tech Mentor, computing services for those who need a little help. I have presented at a wide variety of venues over the last 15 years or so, such as Moodle Moot, Quality Matters, ADEIL, Online Learning Consortium, Sloan-C International Online Learning, Sloan-C Blending Learning, eLearning Consortium of Colorado Conference, SUNY Online Learning Summit (SOL) (DOODLE), Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference (TLT) and the Conference on Instructional Technologies on topics such as Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale: Development of an interactive, baseline professional development initiative ; Our Moodle Template: Who, what, why and how?; Building a Bridge to Success: Meeting Your Students Where They Are; Enhance Your Online Course and Engage Your Students with Video; Add Zest to the Final Project!; Adventures in Energy Course Redesign: Can You Say Solar Photovoltaic?; Online Course Quality; Emerging Technologies for Online Learning and Opening the Gate: How You and Your Students Will Benefit from Open Educational Resources; Course Redesign Made Easy with SoftChalk; Using Macromedia Captivate to Create Online Tutorials, and Small Business Development – Online Environment & Program Level Quality and more.
Professor and Educational Technology coordinator in the Department of Teaching & Learning at Tennessee State University. In addition, she serves a senior member of the National Education Association’s Content Quality & Review board recommending online professional development courses to the NEA Academy. Dr. Arrighi also works as an online instructor for the Tennessee Board of Regents – TNeCampus (including 8 years as a faculty mentor) and taught five years as an educator for Metro-Nashville Public Schools. Honored as a 2015 Women of Distinction in the field of education, Dr. Arrighi trains teachers and students on how to incorporate technology into the classroom, presents nationally and internationally on topics such as classroom management, Millennial learners, and digital citizenship, and continues to work diligently in her field preparing pre-professional educators for teaching, learning, and advocacy of children and public education. Her higher education online training and consulting involved several historically black institutions, K-12 school districts, and internationally in England, Senegal, and most recently the United Nations (UNESCO) 2014 mobile learning week. Dr. Arrighi, an eighteen-year member of the National Education Association (NEA) and its state affiliate, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA); displays her advocacy through service as a faculty advisor for student members at her University and previously held a position as higher education board member and president of the TEA-Department of Higher Education. Dr. Arrighi consults as a technology, classroom management, and student advocate trainer. In addition, she has been featured in Association publications and commercials for which she hopes “individuals we see the true spirit all educators who give so much to educate today’s youth!” As a member of International Forum for Women in eLearning, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and other professional organizations, Dr. Arrighi encourages mentoring and networking as a means of building community, developing citizenship and responsibility, and promoting a society in which everyone's role is valued.

Extended Abstract

Throughout the pandemic, educators have had to rely on remote learning and online tools. As COVID-10 cases decrease and students return to campuses, what online tools and practices should stay with us? What has been discovered that will support student learning as we go forward? “Many of the technologies that helped us simply survive and sustain classroom continuity will become permanently embedded in our educational methods and play a pivotal role in the refinement of practices consistent with an ongoing shift to more student-centered learning” (Curtin, 2021, para. 3). This is relevant and important to current educators and their students.


“The post-COVID-19 period will be the time for higher education to build or reposition online learning to serve students better” (Nworie, 2021, para. 19). This presentation will include five approaches to learning that have thrived in the pandemic and highlight at least one tool or technology that should remain a part of instruction or instructional delivery from each category below as Education moves forward with teaching and learning. 


The categories include:

  • Audio feedback

  • Video presence

  • Text feedback

  • Design recommendations to meet learner needs 

  • Use of OER

After highlighting the selected tools, attendees will be able to select one of five breakout rooms in order to further discuss one of the five categories with a presenter from our team who will moderate that specific discussion. Additionally, attendees will be able to share tools and technologies they believe to be useful in post-pandemic instruction to a shared Google Doc, adding to the initially presented materials. This Google Doc is made available to all attendees.

Post-pandemic instruction offers challenges and possibilities for educators and students. As educators, it is critical that consideration be given to what worked and what did not work with online instruction and delivery. Those who will make a difference in the future are reflecting on this now. “They are rethinking their practice and reimagining learning experiences—stitching together inclusive elements of remote learning with the social benefits of being on campus and adding the immersive value of being in class” (Educause Publications, 2021, para. 13). This presentation offers a way for those who participate to begin reflecting and acting on what stays, what changes, and certainly, what improves with their instruction and their students’ learning in post-pandemic times.



Curtin, R. (2021). Reimagining higher education: The post-covid classroom. Educause, Teaching & Learning. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/4/reimagining-higher-education-the-post-covid-classroom  


Educause Publications. (2021). 2021 EDUCause horizon report: Teaching and learning edition. https://library.educause.edu/resources/2021/4/2021-educause-horizon-report-teaching-and-learning-edition  


Nworie, J. (.2021) Beyond COVID-19: What’s next for online teaching and learning in higher education?  Educause, Teaching & Learning. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/5/beyond-covid-19-whats-next-for-online-teaching-and-learning-in-higher-education