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Hege Library & Learning Technologies

For Faculty: Resilient Teaching

This guide provides support and gathers resources for faculty on resilient teaching approaches during times of change.

What Is Resilient Teaching?

Resilient teaching is an approach that moves us beyond the "emergency remote teaching" that happened by necessity in Spring 2020, into a resilient framework for coping with the potential for change and disruption as we teach, learn, and grow together. As with many pedagogies, there is no one definition of resilient teaching. The purpose of this Resilient Teaching guide is to pull together information, resources, approaches, tools, and more in one centralized location, to support you and your students as move through these difficult times.

In a blog post entitled "Resilient Design for Remote Teaching and Learning," Andrea Kaston Tange, Professor of English and Director of Digital Liberal Arts at Macalester College, defines resilient teaching thusly:

"In architectural terms, resilient design means designing structures that are responsive to their environments, equally attentive to withstanding obvious/immediate obstacles (e.g. hurricane season) and to helping mitigate longer-term concerns (e.g. helping offset climate change). In principle, resilient design is meant to be flexible, to anticipate disruptions, and to value social equity and community. It accomplishes these things by anticipating foreseeable problems, reducing the complexity of any given solution while also recognizing that single solutions are often less useful than multiple ones, building in redundancies, and identifying and building upon a foundation of local resources and strengths."

Many other teachers are considering what "resilient teaching" might look like. Here are some more resources:

MOOC: Resilient Teaching Through Times of Crisis and Change

Rebecca Quintana, Learning Experience Designer Lead at the University of Michigan's Center for Academic Innovation, who co-wrote the Inside Higher Ed article linked above, is also the creator of "Resilient Teaching Through Times of Crisis and Change," a MOOC designed to support higher education instructors in rethinking their teaching with resilient approaches. The course description defines resilient teaching as:

"...the ability to facilitate learning experiences that are designed to be adaptable to fluctuating conditions and disruptions. This teaching ability can be seen as an outcome of a design approach that attends to the relationship between learning goals and activities, and the environments they are situated in. Resilient teaching approaches take into account how a dynamic learning context may require new forms of interactions between teachers, students, content, and tools. Additionally, they necessitate the capacity to rethink the design of learning experiences based on a nuanced understanding of context."

This MOOC can be taken online for free, though you must pay to take if you want your assignments to be graded and to receive a certificate at the end. Coursera has financial aid available for those in need of it.

Further Reading

The following Twitter threads have had some interesting engagement with the idea of resilient teaching, pulling together conversations from many different teachers: