As one of the world’s major social media hubs dedicated to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Facebook mega-group Pandemic Pedagogy provides a panoramic perspective of the key concerns educators and students face amid a public health crisis that forces redefinition of what constitutes effective education. After several months of instruction under pandemic conditions, two central themes emerged as the most extensively discussed and the most intensively contested: (1) rigor versus accommodation in calibrating standards for students, and (2) ways to improve engagement during classes conducted through videoconferencing, especially via Zoom. Both themes reveal deeply embedded systems of privilege and marginalization in the structures and methods of online education. The pandemic starkly exposes disparities in access, equity, and inclusivity. Addressing these challenges will require explicit measures to acknowledge these power imbalances by rethinking what counts as effective teaching and learning rather than relying on institutions to revert to business as usual after this pandemic abates.



Author ORCID Identifier

Roy Schwartzman: 0000-0003-3890-282X