Pandemic Pedagogy

Sawyer Business School faculty are turning COVID-19 challenges into new teaching strategies

Story by Ben Hall

The pandemic is yielding valuable insights into how to make the most of online and hybrid instruction. Last spring, Amy Zeng, dean of the Sawyer Business School, hosted a teaching forum “to give faculty a way to share their best practices and wonderful stories. It was also a way to start the conversation about the next generation of teaching and learning as we continue developing our strengths and competitiveness.”

Suffolk Professor Katrina Graham
> Katrina Graham

Associate Professor
Management and Entrepreneurship

Graham explored the challenge of managing peer-to-peer dynamics in virtual breakout rooms. While content retention is sometimes challenging during remote learning, breakout rooms are a great way for students to practice and retain content. Graham required students to complete peer evaluations after each group discussion to encourage engagement and increase participation.

Suffolk Professor Laurie Levesque
> Laurie Levesque

Associate Professor
Management and Entrepreneurship Director, Master in Management and Organizational Leadership

To encourage better student-led breakout room discussions, Levesque increased structure and accountability. She found that by assigning questions ahead of time and having students schedule when they would assume the role of facilitator, engagement in online breakout rooms improved significantly.

Marketing Lecturer Kim Ring
> Kimberley Ring


Ring introduced gamification into her online classes. Her goal? Get pandemic-weary students excited about what they were studying. Using virtual scavenger hunts, game shows, and escape rooms, she was able to engage students and reinforce the real-life marketing situations they were studying.

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