The improvisations needed to adapt to COVID-19 teaching and learning conditions affected students and faculty alike. This study uses chaos theory and improvisation to examine an undergraduate communication research methods course that was initially delivered synchronously/face-to-face and then transitioned to asynchronous/online in March 2020. Reflective writings were collected at the end of the semester with the 25 students enrolled in the course and follow-up interviews conducted with six students. Thematic analysis revealed that available and attentive student-participant, student-student, and student-instructor communication complemented learner-centered and person-centered goals, but unavailable or inattentive communication, especially with participants and students in the research team, contributed to negative perceptions of learner-centered goals. Implications explore how communication research methods pedagogy may achieve greater available, attentive, and learner/person-oriented goals through modeling, resourcing, reflexivity, and appreciation in online and offline course delivery to enhance shifts in communication pedagogy, whether voluntarily or involuntarily initiated by faculty.



Author ORCID Identifier

Elizabeth Spradley: 0000-0001-7167-8677

R. Tyler Spradley: 0000-0002-4026-9755