Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
The trifecta of effective online instruction comprises social presence (see SIP 10.10), instructor/teaching presence (see SIP 10.2) and cognitive presence. Cognitive presence is a combination of active learning, critical thinking and reflection. Most people learn best by actively working with new concepts and ideas, rather than passively reading about them or watching a video. Critical-thinking skills help learners think through concepts to construct knowledge and make decisions. Reflection helps students absorb and assimilate information and relate what they are learning to real-world situations (Stavredes, 2011). Active learning is foundational to student success in the classroom, but most faculty (and students) don’t associate active learning with what happens in the online environment.
Take a SIP of this: using active learning strategies in online courses
Active learning enables learners to make choices and reflect on their learning individually and through interaction with their peers and instructor. It is easy in an online environment to create modules with a list of reading material, videos and websites for students to review. But you need to ask yourself how you know whether students are really engaged in the material or, better yet, assimilating the information and relating it to the real world?
Suggestions for increasing cognitive presence in an online course:
- Active vs. passive learning in online classes. Are students required to just read through PowerPoints or watch videos or are they required to actively engage in the content? Active engagement can be online discussions/debates, group projects, synchronous online meetings, assignments that encourage problem-solving (such as case studies) and content-related games. With a little imagination and technical skills, games mentioned in SIP 5.7 could be incorporated into an online course; also see SIP 9.5.
- Make it authentic. How does the content of your course apply to the real world? What kind of activities, interactions and/or tasks are your students required to do as a future professional in their field? Develop assignments and activities around real-world tasks such as problem-solving activities, role-playing (using video) and simulations.
- Debates: Instead of your typical forum discussion where students discuss a particular topic by answering corresponding questions and perhaps replying to classmates’ responses, debates can increase student interactions, critical thinking and reflection.
- Reflection: Learners need the opportunity to reflect on their learning individually and socially. Reflection activities can allow students to provide feedback to the instructor about the course as well as about their learning and interaction with the course content. Within Blackboard Learn, you can use blogs and journals to provide a variety of ways for students to reflect in your course.
Just as in a face-to-face class, you may directly ask students questions, assign group work/discussions and/or play games or engage in activities to encourage students to interact with course content in creative and innovative ways. Developing cognitive presence in an online course also requires creativity and innovation. Active student learning is a critical component of online courses.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of this: using active learning strategies in online courses
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
Extracurricular activities support student success, and the ever-expanding recreational and competitive gaming industry – otherwise known as esports – is another way for students to engage and get involved on campus outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities positively benefit involved students, as data shows that they tend to miss fewer classes, do better in math and reading and demonstrate better interpersonal communication skills. Therefore, it is important that schools, colleges and universities offer a wide range of activities for students to participate in. Campus Recreation programs are pioneers of student engagement in higher education, but current opportunities need to be constantly evaluated. This is where esports come into – pun intended – play.
Take a SIP of this: recreational and competitive gaming on campus
Research shows that participation in esports results in several positive outcomes for competitors.
Esports foster inclusion and student success: The Pew Research Center reported in 2018 that 97% of teen boys and 84% of teen girls played video games, some of which are involved in school sports and clubs. An opportunity to participate in recreational and/or competitive gaming can be a lifeline for some students who may struggle to find meaningful connections on campus. These connections formed with other students outside the classroom correlate to higher graduation rates and decreases in suffering from or spreading the harms of feeling out of touch with their campus community.
Esports enable skill development: It is not new knowledge that team sports teach valuable skills. However, the development and practice of these skills and important life lessons apply to any sport, not just the “traditional” ones, and esports teams are no exception. Esports may help a student develop these valuable skills when deficits, a lack of aptitude and/or an inability to engage in intense physical activity prevent participation in traditional team sports. Here are some examples, just to name a few:
- Working with others – teamwork, collaboration, conflict management, active listening.
- Social skills – interpersonal communication, eye contact, body language, hygiene, refraining from interrupting others.
- Strategic thinking – goal-setting, assessing strengths and weaknesses, game-planning, execution of game plans and making on-the-fly adjustments.
- Managing success and failure – learning to deal with loss, sportsmanship, respect.
- Time management – balancing life, work and school, learning and applying executive functions such as organizing and scheduling practice time.
- Travel skills – planning, packing, budgeting, scheduling, managing transportation and lodging, safety issues, exposure to different cultures, adaptability.
- Promotion of social values – standards of behavior, codes of conduct, professionalism, honesty, persistence, healthy competition.
Esports expand college and career opportunities: Esports and STEM programs go hand-in-hand, and many of these esports student-athletes are involved in broader technology industries such as information technology, geographic information systems, computer science and mechanical engineering. Students involved in esports seemingly are a natural fit for careers in STEM fields, which are projected to offer many of the best employment opportunities available in today’s market. Ninety-three of the 100 jobs defined as STEM-related by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have wages above the national average. Outside of STEM careers, there is a good fit for esports-minded students in traditional sports-management fields such as marketing, finance, athletic training, recruitment, broadcasting and organizational management. The career opportunities at the professional level are set to eclipse the NBA by 2021, especially as most of the major sports leagues around the world offer professional-level esports teams as part of their formal organizations.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of recreational and competitive gaming on campus
Click the URL links below and navigate to the drop-down menus for each program area to view the full schedule of events and for more information on how to get involved with esports with Metropolitan State University of Denver Campus Recreation this semester!
- Open Recreation Esports – open to all Campus Recreation members.
- Intramural Esports – open to Campus Recreation student-members from the Auraria Campus.
- Club Esports – open to Campus Recreation student-members from the Auraria Campus.
- We are looking for an advisor our new Club Esports team! Do you have a strong knowledge of the esports industry or want to gain some experience? Being a club-sport advisor is a great way to get involved and support our student-success measures. Note: Club sport advisors must be current MSU Denver administrators or faculty members.
- We are also looking to connect with faculty on collaborations, field experiences, internships and student-employment opportunities for our MSU Denver students.
- For more information, please email Dave Lamothe, assistant director of sports with Campus Recreation at email@example.com.
 Extracurricular Participation and Student Engagement. National Center for Education Statistics, June 1995. Accessed 10.24.19.
 Teens, Social Media and Technology. Pew Research Center, May 2018. Accessed 10.24.19.
 Fayer, Stella, et al. STEM Occupations: Past, Present and Future. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Jan. 2017. Accessed 10.24.2019.
 With Viewership and Revenue Booming, Esports Set to Compete With Traditional Sports. Whitman Syracuse University. Jan. 2019. Accessed 10.24.19.
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
We acknowledge that some individuals prefer being addressed as “autistic”, and others prefer “person with autism”. In this article, we use person-first language and not identify-first language.
Aaron is a bright 28-year-old with a diagnosis of autism. He wants to be a physicist. He always aces his math and science classes but doesn’t enjoy writing and languages. Large classes (more than a few people) make him anxious. He doesn’t learn well in lecture-based formats and doesn’t enjoy group activities in class. Aaron also fears approaching his professors when he has questions or needs help with the coursework. Because of these challenges, Aaron has not been successful in college. He has attended four universities in the past 8 years but hasn’t been able to graduate.
Students like Aaron are beginning to pursue higher education in large numbers in recent years. Many of them have advanced verbal abilities; they can read and write and often have excellent insight about their strengths and challenges in learning and communication. However, many students/young adults with autism experience high levels of anxiety, especially when faced with novel situations. They have challenges in interacting and communicating with others, understanding the “hidden rules” of classroom engagement, understanding non-verbal behaviors, processing information and regulating their emotions and behaviors. These challenges, combined with difficulties problem solving in social interactions, result in dropouts from college.
Higher education brings increased self-confidence, helps students with autism find jobs that meet their skill sets and helps them to gain financial independence and enjoy a better quality of life. To support students with autism in their higher-education experience, faculty members can adopt several strategies in their classrooms.
Take a SIP of this: supporting learning in students with autism
The strategies given below benefit not just students with autism but every learner in the classroom.
- Increased structure helps reduce anxiety. Have a consistent structure for your course in the course design on Blackboard Learn and in course delivery. For example, start each class with an agenda of topics and activities that will be covered in that class session. At the end of each class, let students know what assignments or homework is due that week and what topics will be covered in the subsequent class.
- Be proactive in reducing anxiety in the classroom. Practice taking short breaks (3-5 minutes) for every 30 minutes of class time. Most of us cannot sustain our attention for more than 20 minutes. Try deep-breathing exercises for a couple of minutes before class starts; you can also do this before exams.
- Allow students to participate and engage in class in multiple ways. For instance, students can write their question or comment on an index card and pass it to you instead of raising their hand and talking in front of everyone else in the classroom. Also see the Well for more ideas for multiple modes of engagement and other principles of Universal Design for Learning.
- Be explicit in giving directions. These include directions/instructions during class and directions for assignments. Avoid using figurative language and implied statements. For example, say, “I would like you to do this …” instead of “Most students have done this …”
- Use tables, graphic organizers or flowcharts whenever possible in the course content and course organization. These visual representations provide better clarity of your expectations and an understanding of next steps.
- Allow students sufficient time to respond and process the information taught in class. When you ask a question, wait at least 15 seconds for a response. Most students raise their hand to comment or ask a question on the 15th second.
- Build a sense of trust with the student from the first day of class. Be open and willing to listen to students, and the challenges they face in learning. Students who trust their professors, experience reduced anxiety in the classroom, and find it easier to approach the professor for help.
- Due to challenges in understanding the social rules of classroom engagement, a student with autism may be perceived as “disruptive” or “difficult” although they do not intend to disrupt the class. They may ask too many questions in class, monopolize a class discussion, or make frequent tangential comments. In most situations, the student understands when we communicate with him/her in a clear and respectful manner. For example, you can say, “I understand that it is very important for you to express your thoughts, but let us give X a chance to talk too.” You can also set a rule that each student can ask two questions/comment two times during class time, and additional comments can be written on an index card that you give them before the start of class.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of this: supporting learning in students with autism
- Video from the Organization for Autism Research: A Professor’s Guide
- Santhanam, S. (2019). Share Strategies with Professors to Support Students with Autism, Disability Compliance for Higher Education, 25(3), 3-5. doi:10.1002/dhe.30717
- Wheeler, M. Academic Supports for College Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview.
- Zager, D., Alpern, C. S., McKeon, B., Mulvey, J. D., & Maxam, S. (2012). Educating college students with autism spectrum disorders. Routledge.
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
We are becoming a nation of lonely people. Our youngest generation attending college now, Generation Z, is considered the “loneliness generation,” in part because of the vast time spent behind a computer screen using social media as a means to interact with peers; another contributor to their loneliness is the lack of meaningful interpersonal connections overall. Online interactions can never take the place of face-to-face interactions, but there are strategies and techniques that can be incorporated into your online course to increase student-to-student interaction, create more meaningful connections and decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Take a SIP of this: establishing a strong teaching presence online
The key is to create opportunities for interactions between learners that are stimulating, allow learners to express themselves and have significance in the learners’ lives (Stavredes, 2011). It’s easy to develop a sense of anonymity in online courses. In an online environment, it is more difficult to create a sense of presence; however, social interaction in online courses promotes positive learning outcomes and student satisfaction. Social presence also creates comfort and emotional connections among learners in online learning environments (Akcaoglu & Lee, 2016).
Suggestions for increasing social presence in an online course:
- Think about all the ways in which you connect to your students in the face-to-face environment and then translate these ideas to online (sharing of personal stories and experiences, frequent feedback and continuous conversation). Also see: SIP 10.2.
- Use emails to communicate with the class about current events, things to do that week or a summary of overall class progress on assignments or assessments. For example, send an email to the class letting students know how well the class did on a particular quiz or midterm. You can send an email outlining areas for improvement, perhaps taking the opportunity to reinforce concepts that may have been overlooked or misunderstood. You can also use emails to summarize a recent forum discussion as well as incorporate additional information that may be relevant or answer any lingering questions that didn’t get asked during the discussion. In addition to sending emails, it is critical to answer emails in a timely fashion. One of the biggest complaints voiced by online students concerns their instructors not responding to emails.
- Use discussion forums. Discussion is an integral part of the online learning environment. The structure of the discussion is important in developing critical thinking skills and reinforcing collaboration with peers. Discussion activities should encourage learners to integrate their knowledge and comprehension of course content and apply what they know to real-world scenarios (Stavredes, 2011). For example, use case studies with corresponding questions that encourage students to think critically or have students analyze a current news article or website related to course content. Also, it is important to design the discussions to encourage students to participate over multiple days (rather than just posting and replying to classmates on the same day).
- Use synchronous communication to enhance social presence. Immediacy is a critical element in social presence, and communication in real time often enhances social presence when handled well. Blackboard has an online chat feature. (See SIP 2.2 for how to make chat rooms accessible.) Chat is a text-based form of synchronous communication. You can also use Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype to create video synchronous communication. I know professors who use Zoom to create real-time help sessions or invite guest speakers to present on topics relevant to the course.
- Create opportunities for students to work in teams or groups. Although many of you have probably heard multiple complaints from students about having to work in groups, if planned correctly, group/teamwork can provide students with an opportunity to collaborate on a deeper level with their peers. Not only is this critical for developing social presence; it is also critical for preparing our students to collaborate with others using a variety of different mediums. Blackboard has tools for creating and managing groups online.
- Create a student hub/water-cooler discussion forum. Create a discussion forum for off-topic discussions that may be important for students. During face-to-face classes, off-topic discussions (i.e., the latest Broncos game, movies, music, current events on campus) can be a normal part of course discourse and helps to establish community. Creating a forum discussion for students to discuss these topics that are important to them gives students an opportunity to establish a sense of community online.
Online education probably isn’t going to solve the loneliness issue – if anything, it could exacerbate it – but online education is growing exponentially and may one day outpace traditional face-to-face courses. In other words, online education is here to stay. Our role as instructors is to create an online environment that provides meaningful peer-to-peer interactions that will assist our students in understanding the material and making connections.
Still Thirsty? Take another SIP of establishing a strong social presence online
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
Some students are driven by deadline pressure, but many find the stress of a looming deadline overwhelming. Additionally, our students are often juggling competing demands and deadlines from courses, jobs and their personal lives, and our assignment due dates may overlap with a big work-related deadline or an important life event. Ideally, students would be able to plan around these other occasions, but often that simply isn’t possible (and tell the truth: Have you ever put a conference talk together on the plane to the conference?). Then, instructors are in the unpleasant position of having to listen to and judge the validity of a student’s excuse for missing a deadline or grading work that was done in a slapdash fashion.
Another complicating factor is that some students feel comfortable asking for extensions when they need them, but others, particularly first-generation college students, may not know that extensions are possible and may never ask. Students of color experiencing stereotype threat may fear that asking for an extension will reflect badly upon an entire group of people.
Finally, strict policies around deadlines that result in grade penalties for students who turn work in late can take a harsher toll on students with complicated lives, contributing to equity gaps.
Take a SIP of this: building flexible deadlines into assignments
One way to address the anxiety inherent for some students in meeting deadlines, and at the same time bring more equity to requests for extensions, is to build options for deadline flexibility into your assignments. Flexible deadlines are also one way to practice compassion toward students (for more on practicing compassion at work, check out SIP 10.8). Here are three simple ways to give all students in a class equitable access to deadline extensions:
- Create passes that students can use to give themselves extensions when they need them. You can either give every student a certain number of passes to use throughout the semester or you can create a low-stakes assignment, such as a syllabus quiz, and award the passes in lieu of points for the low-stakes assignment.
- Have students sign up for deadlines. In this model, students choose their own deadlines and commit to them in writing. This allows you as the instructor to know when to expect assignments to be submitted, so you can plan your own workflow, and it gives students an opportunity to practice planning and accountability.
- Create a submission window. Instead of giving a firm deadline, you could say work will be accepted during a period of a few days or even weeks. To encourage students to submit near the beginning of the window, you could offer extra credit or some sort of incentive, such as dropping their lowest assignment grade if they turn in a certain percentage of assignments with the first three days of the window. Many instructors already incorporate submission windows into their online courses.
Looking for something more radical? Consider getting rid of deadlines altogether! Or have milestones during the semester relating to work turned in, such as requiring that at least half of all work must be submitted by midterm, another 25% before fall break and the last 25% before finals week ends. Or give students a portfolio option in which they submit evidence at the semester that shows they’ve attained all the class outcomes.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of this: building flexible deadlines into assignments
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
Last week, the SIPsquad dished on the stress and anxiety surrounding working in “crisis mode.” As a follow-up this week, we would like to consider how to embed compassion into our practice as faculty and staff.
Being aware of the distress students and faculty are experiencing and wanting to help lessen it can lead us to improved outcomes in the classroom and in our work across campus. Taking steps to be compassionate professors and colleagues can also enhance our own feelings of satisfaction around our work.
Take a SIP of this: compassion on campus
Practice compassion toward students:
- Assume that your students are operating with best intentions.
- Even though your students’ problems may not be your problems, acknowledge that they are real. We are far beyond the days of “my dog ate my homework” and deep into serious and tricky situations that may impede the timely submission of homework, the ability to arrive on time to class or other aspects of your students’ performance.
- Be forgiving. Recognize that a student’s behavior on one day in class or their performance on one exam or assignment might not represent who they are as a person or scholar. By using the basic tenets of Universal Design for Learning, you can build in “second chance” opportunities that will allow your students to truly demonstrate how they are achieving the outcomes of your class despite any roadblocks they might encounter over the course of the semester. Try incorporating opportunities for revision or alternative ways of showing competency into your syllabus from the outset. Check out these SIPs on different ways to incorporate UDL into your class.
Practice compassion toward colleagues:
- Assume that your colleagues are operating with best intentions.
- Think in terms of what you have in common with your colleagues: You are both facing pressure from your bosses; you are both trying to move your career forward; you are both trying to do the best job possible. Even if you disagree, remember that you are similar in terms of your desire to do well.
- Each day, find a small way to be kind to your colleagues. It does not have to be labor-intensive – send a 10-second email of appreciation; pop your head into someone’s office and say, “Happy Monday!” These tiny actions can have a huge impact on you and on them.
- Be forgiving. Discuss perceived slights openly and collegially, keeping in mind the nebulous intentionality of tone in email and the fact that your colleagues may have stuff going on that you are not aware of. Ask, for example, “Hey – your email sounded kind of gruff. Is there something I can do to make this collaboration better?” and hope for (and offer, when it is your turn) an honest answer like, “My baby was up all night, and I am tired, not giving email my full attention today.” Honesty can go a long way toward cultivating the empathy and compassion we need to practice with our colleagues.
- Try hard to do your best and recognize that any perceived shortfalls are not the product of lack of effort.
- Engage in self-care to help yourself maintain a positive attitude and healthy approach to work-life balance.
- Be forgiving. We are often hardest on ourselves. But developing a strong sense of compassion that we can exercise with others must begin with being kind to ourselves.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of this: compassion on campus
Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
Recently, the SIPsquad has been feeling like we’re in “crisis mode,” and we know others feel the same. Faculty, staff and students seem stressed out in general and anxious about the future. Pressures at work, increased urgency around deadlines and the fielding of multiple requests from superiors are creating a burdensome atmosphere at work. Global climate change, political chaos, mass violence and other big-picture concerns weigh on all of us. Families and homes feel more like onerous responsibilities than joyful, life-affirming sources of strength. How can we confront these pressures in order to work and live well?
Take a SIP of this: Dealing with Crisis Mode
The SIPsquad contacted Emily Goldberg, LCSW, middle-school counselor at Stanley British Primary School and Gail Bruce-Sanford, Ph.D., director of the MSU Denver Counseling Center, to ask about the perceptions and realities of crisis mode. Based on our own experiences of working in crisis mode, we threw in our own two cents to round out the conversation.
Q: What are the signs of crisis mode, and how can we recognize them in our students, colleagues and selves? How does crisis mode affect our energy or physical health?
Goldberg: The stress of a perceived crisis throws our bodies into “fight-flight-freeze” mode. Excess amounts of adrenaline are released into our system, and the stress hormone cortisol is activated. Early humans experienced this response only sporadically – but when it happens to us every single day, it takes its toll. Our bodies were not built for this.
The Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing blog said this regarding the recurrence of reaction to stress: “Over time, repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body. Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression and addiction. More preliminary research suggests that chronic stress may also contribute to obesity, both through direct mechanisms (causing people to eat more) or indirectly (decreasing sleep and exercise).”
Bruce-Sanford: Metro faculty are so dedicated, but they are often underpaid, living in an overly expensive city and often sharing their students’ burdens while trying to manage their own. In particular, the management of this vicarious trauma can produce chronic pain, chronic fatigue, migraines, stomach issues and other physical symptoms that we should be watching for.
SIPsquad: When I’m in crisis mode, I panic! I feel like everything is urgent and I’m unable to prioritize. I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel that won’t stop. I am constantly moving but not getting anywhere, and nothing actually gets done. It makes me tired, but ironically it makes it hard for me to actually sleep. I’m sure that people around me can sense this stress.
I know I’m in crisis mode when I abandon my planner because I’m simply working on the next thing due and when I start losing stuff and missing meetings.
I know I am in crisis mode when I stop caring. I stop caring about the quality of my work; I stop caring about my students. I am just going through the motions of getting things done, just to get them done and off my list, and I don’t care how I do it.
Q: Why are things so ramped up these days? It seems like we didn’t live in constant crisis mode in the past.
Bruce-Sanford: More demands and expectations are placed on us today, and they arrive more quickly due to email communication. We are bombarded with instant requests and instant expectations. The nature of our work creates increased complexities in our roles – we are attending to many things simultaneously (although the ability to multitask well is questionable for anyone).
Goldberg: Student issues are increasingly complex now too. Three decades ago, a university student was just a student and that was their main role. For married students, their spouses took care of all the house stuff, and the students could participate fully in school. But now, attention is divided and people have conflicting interests that make focusing on school difficult.
We can’t point to one simple reason why the pace of life is now heightened, but we know for sure that technology bears some blame. On the one hand, technology is often a distraction that diminishes our productivity. But on the other, technology helps to create a dialogue that suggests, “I’m so great because I work 65 hours per week and I’m always available and connected, and this has resulted in a big car and a huge house, so I’m doing it right.” Furthermore, technology has also inspired a curated FOMO (fear of missing out) – constant notifications around news and our friends’ “amazing” lives make us feel like we need to “keep up,” and this is a stressor.
Q: When we see friends or colleagues in crisis mode, how can we help?
Bruce-Sanford: If you know someone who appears to be in crisis mode, you might gently say to them, “Your mood seems a bit different, you have been a bit snappy, and maybe you don’t realize it, and I’m concerned about you. Are you doing OK?”
SIPsquad: I think instead of piling on about how stressed out we are, we might remind them to practice self-care, which might, in turn, motivate us to do it.
Q: What proactive steps can we take to build avoidance of crisis mode into our syllabi?
- Incorporate some of the mindfulness practices into your syllabus.
- Asking for help is really a skill – set aside some time to teach your students how to do this.
- Have a humane late-work policy (like the late tickets we’ve written about in SIP 1.X).
- Practice pedagogies such as “slow teaching” that build mindfulness and the appreciation of being present into the practices of teaching and learning. Read about how to adopt this pedagogy in SIP 8.15, Slow Teaching.
- Here are a few other SIPs on incorporating mindfulness into your pedagogy.
- Avoid last-minute changes to your syllabus or to assignment guidelines, as this may produce anxiety or the feeling of high expectations with shifting targets.
Q: What self-care steps can we take to ensure that crisis mode doesn’t get the best of us if the crisis mode itself is pretty unavoidable?
Goldberg: Self-care is a huge step toward prevention. When the community writ large engages in self-care, then everyone does better and the students are better. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Meditation and mindfulness take practice and discipline, but they are ways to reconfigure the pathways of the brain that have been damaged by stress.
- When people have a sense of belonging, they are less likely to be harmed by the stressors discussed above. We must place more emphasis on the development of humanity and human connection.
- Don’t shame people for asking for help, and try to avoid self-shaming when you ask for help.
- Set firm limits and boundaries. That’s how we maintain the balance in our schedules. It empowers us to have more control in our lives.
- Disconnect from technology!!
- Always try to keep a balanced perspective.
- Look at your schedule and ensure that you are not overscheduling. Try to delegate more. Have others share in some of the workload more often.
- Have fun! Play; engage in a fun activity; do things that are light. Give yourself permission to balance out the stress with things that you enjoy.
- Feel good about saying, “No, I can’t at this time, but I can later,” so you aren’t always saying yes to everything that comes to you, because you will get overscheduled.
- It may go without saying, but get good sleep and eat healthy foods!
- Practice priority-setting regularly.
- Contact someone else for a reality check about whether something that appears urgent really is.
Q: What can we do to contribute to culture change around crisis mode, even if we don’t supervise other faculty or staff?
Goldberg: Parents need to model for kids; faculty need to model for students. It doesn’t matter if you are at the “top of the food chain” – you have the power to model the behavior that will create positive change.
SIPsquad: Don’t do the academic-martyr thing (bragging about long hours, lack of sleep, etc.). Support others who cut back or say no instead of making them feel bad. Stop apologizing for practicing self-care or taking a few days to answer a nonurgent email because that implies that there is something wrong with doing these things.
Still thirsty? Take another SIP of this: dealing with crisis mode
Check out these invaluable on-campus resources: