As higher education professionals redesign summer and, possibly, fall courses for online delivery, the breakneck pace of the work is beginning to take a significant emotional toll.
Dr. Lee Skallerup Bessette is a Learning Design Specialist with the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at the Georgetown University. She has been teaching in higher education for over 15 years, primarily at regional, teaching-centered institutions that serve non-traditional students. Her current work in faculty development and technology focuses on the pedagogical and curricular implementation of digital fluency. She blogged at InsideHigherEd.com (College Ready Writing) and was also a regular contributor at ProfHacker. You can find out more about her at her website readywriting.org.
Efforts to move higher education instruction online en masse highlight the necessity of affective labor—work that a person does to suppress their feelings so as to create a desired feeling in others (in this case, a sense of calm)—as well as the toll it can take.