Teaching in the Fall during the pandemic

For the past few weeks I’ve been re-learning how to teach. With the help of my colleagues at UMW such as Dr. Russell, Jerry Slezak, and Dr. Greenlaw it’s been an eye opening experience. As of this writing I know that two of my classes are going to be face to face (Mktg 460 & Mktg 417 – Section 2) and one is going to be online (Mktg 417 – Section 1). After Thanksgiving though, all my courses will be online. My challenge for the online course, and to a lesser degree the other two courses, is how to make them engaging and active while online. There are things I know for sure, things I’m leaning towards, and things I’m still exploring.

For sure

  • I will have class synchronously but I will record the lectures and put them on my YouTube page so that students who are not able to attend during the class will not be penalized
  • There will be quizzes after each lecture, this worked pretty well in the Spring. The quizzes will take the place of a mid-term
  • The final exam (if there is one) will be online. This goes for all my classes
  • I’ll be using Zoom, it’s user friendly and worked well in the Spring

Leaning towards

  • For the online class, I’ll do poll questions via Zoom to increase interaction
  • Making greater usage of break-out rooms
  • Sending material to students in advance that we can go over during the class
  • Using tools such as Padlet and virtual reality to enhance engagement and create discussion

Learning about

  • Bringing in more guest speakers. If the class is online then the guest speakers can visit virtually.
  • How to create virtual challenges that students can participate in

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Reflecting on Digital History (Pandemic Edition) through Memes

I asked the students in HIST428–Adventures in Digital History to close out the semester with a meme reflecting on the semester in general or the class in particular.

From Hunter D.

Class meme
From Dennis G.


Two from Eilise M.

Digital History should be taken seriously meme
The Farmer group was very passionate meme

Kimberly E.

Erin A.

From Piper G. (And this is definitely an accurate take on my role for the last few weeks of the semester.)

Erin M.

Corey H.

Megan W.

Beanie baby frog memeI found this meme on Facebook but DIY’d it to say “virtually.” That way, it matches the Zoom Experience.

Glynnis F.


An exaggeration in which my group needed more scholarly sources on scrapbooks and academics are "responding" saying, "Three, take it or leave it."

Emily J.


Katia S. “had this thought, in meme format, while captioning James Farmer’s class lectures on a Friday night two months ago, so I felt like it had to be shared.”

Cat K. noted, “When you’re already stressed because of your online classes and then your power goes out”

Noah P.


Mady M.

From Anna W.:

Before Adventures in Digital History vs. after Adventures in Digital History:


We are in uncharted water

These indeed are strange days. COVID-19 has upended life here in so many ways and one of the challenges is that we’ve moved all of our classes to online instruction. This is the first time that I’m teaching an entire class online. Here’s how it went down, on the morning of March 9th a few of the faculty were talking about a couple of cases of Coronavirus found in Virginia. On a hunch I decided to mention online instruction to my classes on the off chance it could happen. That afternoon I meeting with some faculty and it dominated our discussion. On Wednesday I made a plan and presented it to my students on what would happen if we went online for instruction. I didn’t actually expect it to happen, a couple of hours after my last class and after I left campus I received word that the University would move to online instruction for a few weeks. I scrambled to get things ready for online instruction, my first day I forgot to share my screen, didn’t press record, and my system crashed. Things have since improved but we just received word that we’re going to finish the online semester online. We’re in the midst of upheaval right now but I hope to write more at a later time that reflects on what went right and what went wrong with the transition.

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My Solar Charger

Every year my digital marketing class (Mktg 417) finds a product that would have good sales online. The students are tasked with creating a Facebook ad for the product and then we create the website and run the ad. Then we track the audience to the page using Google Analytics. This year’s winner is a solar charger for your devices that you can use when you’re exploring the great outdoors. Our shop is located at www.mysolarcharger.myshopify.com, give it a look and enjoy.

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The chaos (and growth) in the entertainment industry

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by our own Professor Dan Wolfe where he talked about how much the entertainment industry (TV and movies) has opened up. This is largely brought on by the online streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Apple who are creating their own content. We’ve moved into an era where more competition has opened up greater demand for content. For comparison, Professor Wolfe compared the number of feature films created by Disney last year (12) to the number created by Netflix (200+). It’s never been a better time to create desirable content because content is king and if you’re creative their is demand for your services. His talk was posted to YouTube and is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waLwGPXs-uk

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