By Erin Clarke-Dorrell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The last time we posted on this blog, COVID-19 was starting to make its presence more widely known across the globe. We sure did not anticipate still focusing on this topic and the continued impact so many months later. So, you may wonder what it is like being a doctoral student amid a global pandemic. Honestly, the pandemic has not really changed how the members of the LED Research Group continue in our Ph.D. program. Predictably and probably due to the field, our learning technologies courses transitioned fairly smoothly to entirely online learning. Additionally, there is a level of autonomy that governs the work we do as graduate students, leaving little difficulties there. However, it is always nice knowing that we can reach out to fellow research group members and advisor for needed support.
Nevertheless, moving towards the autumn 2020 semester leaves so much uncertainty. That is the reason behind the following tips for being a good doctoral student during a pandemic.
- Try and set up a dedicated work/study space
- Ensure everyone in your household knows when you have classes or meetings via Zoom
- Better yet, play around with the virtual background feature on Zoom
- Always mute yourself unless you are speaking during virtual classes/meetings
- Reach out to those in your cohort to keep a sense of community
- Ask questions about anything you are uncertain
- Be flexible and know EVENTUALLY this too shall pass
Given the global pandemic of 2020, upon completion of our programs, I believe that instead of receiving a diploma with a Ph.D. as an acronym for Doctor of Philosophy, it should be Pandemic Henceforth Dedication. We never planned for this to happen, but we have moved forward, embraced all the Zoom meetings, and look towards hope in the future. Learning technologies has been given the opportunity to shine, and we want to make sure that continues to happen.