Submitted by Betsy Jamieson / Smith College on Wed, 03/25/2020 - 11:25

As pretty much all of us have been doing over these last couple of weeks, I've been re-imagining what my classes will look like now that I'll be teaching remotely. I've wondered how we'll manage general chemistry labs, whether or not summer research will happen, and how I should be assessing students during this time. One thing that has helped tremendously - being in touch with colleagues - not just at my own instituion but from all over the IONiC community. 

It's been so heartening to see people sharing links to great online resources in the "VIPErPit" Discord Channel. Thanks to one of those links, I found an electrochemistry simulation website that's perfect for our gen chem lab. Another super helpful resource a few people created - a collection of virtual inorganic lab experiments. It's been so great to see the community pull together and pitch in to help people find the resources they need to teach remotely.  

The VIPErPit has also been a way for people to ask how different institutions are handling various issues. A recent topic of conversation - what kind of grades will you be giving this semester?  At Smith, the decision was made almost immediately after the move to remote classes that all grades this semester would be mandatory satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Other places are coming up with different strategies, and the Discord chat has been a great way for people to learn about what others are doing.

So, if you're looking for a way to stay connected and have some real-time conversations about how to survive as a faculty member in the time of COVID-19, consider joining us on Discord. You can post as little or as much as you want - but I'm sure you'll find the threads informative and helpful. And just keep in mind the wise words of the Beatles . . . 

I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends. . . .