Innovative Teaching

Online is not passive at Concordia.

Bree Langemo, assistant professor of law and entrepreneurship and director of the Entrepreneurship Center, has always run her classroom as a flip classroom – students read the materials before coming in, then focus on current case law in class.

Langemo’s classes will be meeting on Zoom using the breakout function getting into small groups and discussing cases. With Zoom, she’ll be able to jump into small groups and make a personalized learning experience that she says is different than in person.

“I think the best mindset is to be open and flexible to the situation,” Langemo says. “Just because part of my class will be online doesn’t mean it won’t be a highly interactive and very engaging experience.”

“Sometimes it takes a crisis to accelerate the kind of progress that was made when faculty, staff, and administrators had to quickly adapt to using technology to work and teach, but in the future maybe we will continue to adapt as quickly as we have,” she adds.

Dr. Mark Krejci, professor of psychology, has always liked a challenge and thinks students like it as well. Though class will meet in person one day a week, they’ll also be doing something mental health professionals are doing by working online with peers, in small groups, and in conference with Krejci.

“Online is not passive at Concordia College,” Krejci says. “Online is an active form of learning.”

One of the things he teaches is the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. The fixed mindset is having to do things a certain way and the growth is trying new things. If you try things that don’t work, you come back, assess, and try things a different way.

“I think our environment this coming fall is going to be bringing out the growth mindset with faculty and students,” he says. “There are new ways of learning.”

Dr. Gay Rawson, professor of French and chair of World Languages and Cultures, is excited to use what worked well in the past months working online. She’s going to have blended learning with some students online and in-person at the same time.

Students like to work on their own, but Rawson says students need touchpoints with faculty and that is what Concordia does best.

Teaching languages and phonetics is a challenge with a mask because they teach how they move their mouth, so she’ll be incorporating videos so they can watch how people pronounce the words.

“We’re all going to need to be flexible and maybe have a little bit of grace and patience with each other,” she adds. “Everyone that I’ve worked with wants the best for each other, so I know that it’s going to work out.”

Faculty are excited about the challenges the new academic year brings. Flexibility seems to be the key to success.

Learn more about their new ways of teaching in these faculty videos.