In 2020, when teaching and learning went online in a great hurry, much of the initial emphasis was on matching the real-life experience as closely as possible. What has since become apparent, however, is that the online classroom is not merely transplanting the physical space into a virtual setting. On the contrary, it has challenged longstanding assumptions of what we mean by participation and active engagement. It presents immense transformational opportunities, which may lead to a more reflective and less pressured classroom pedagogy: one which is sympathetic to the (historically under-acknowledged) needs of introverted learners.
Karen Harris is an Intercultural Communications Trainer and Language Development Tutor, based at the UAL Language Centre. With 25 years’ experience of teaching English, she has a particular interest in the relationship between the written word and artistic practice. In recent years, she has established both the UAL Language-Art Project and Many-Languages Poetry Club – using language as a source of fascination which unites diverse students in a spirit of mutual curiosity and creativity. Her publications include Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, Times Higher Education, and a chapter in Teach Communication with a Sense of Humor. She has presented conference talks on a range of themes including the role of literature in the language classroom, surreal humour used as a teaching method, academic writing as an artistic skill, and the interdisciplinary connections between art and mathematics.