担当：David Hoenigman 訪問講師（招聘）
The Spring 2020 semester at Keio University SFC was certainly an interesting experience for me. When it was first announced that all classes would be online, after I got over my initial panic and started to think concretely about how the courses would operate, I had a hard time envisioning how my online classes could facilitate the high level of meaningful communication that I expect from my students in a traditional classroom. I was not entirely sure how I was going to maintain my usual standards of in-class student participation, but I was determined not to lower these standards. Luckily, I found that my students were more than up to the challenge of a fully online semester. Although it was a big adjustment for everyone involved, there were moments from Spring 2020 that I look back upon with great satisfaction and pride. I would like to share my thoughts on two of my courses: Creative Writing (level C), and Subcultures (level B).
More than with any other course, I was concerned that the decision to go fully online would cause my Creative Writing students to miss out on the sense of community that I felt was crucial to establishing the workshop-like atmosphere I had anticipated for our classroom activities. I wanted the students to individually read their written assignments aloud to the class. I also wanted each reading to conclude with a feedback session that allowed students to critique each other's work. Even in a traditional classroom, it may take time and a certain degree of chemistry among classmates to achieve the desired set of circumstances that allows for uninhibited creative expression and constructive peer assessments. I was worried how the online aspect of last semester's classes would affect these activities. However, to my great delight, the students showed no hesitation in reading their poems and stories through Webex or Zoom. It was highly beneficial that the online systems allowed students to directly share their written files with the class, so the audience could read the presenter's words in tandem with enjoying his/her spoken word performance. Instantaneous access to these files also greatly enhanced feedback sessions as students were able to really delve into discussions of word choice and writing structure. In short, the online technology allowed me to reach my student participation goals more efficiently, and perhaps more meaningfully, than I had thought possible. I was very impressed with how the students immediately took to using the systems, and how week after week the complexity of their activities exceeded my expectations.
Concerning my Subcultures course, I would like to relay the experience of having an overseas guest speaker join our class via Zoom. Towards the end of the semester, after the students had finished reading the book Subcultures: The Basics by Ross Haenfler, the US-based author visited our class for an online Q&A session. As Dr. Haenfler was joining us from his home near Grinnell College in Iowa, I could not help but be slightly worried that we would have a sudden technical problem that would render his participation an impossibility. Happily, no such problem occurred. The students gave our guest, one of the world's leading specialists in youth subcultures, a very warm welcome. One after the next, our students proceeded to ask Dr. Haenfler highly informed and imaginative questions about his work. I felt that the students were really able to personally connect with the speaker and vice versa. This day, more than any other, really gave me great hope concerning what can be accomplished through online teaching. I feel the Zoom format makes the interaction with a guest speaker more intimate, and even more relaxed and fun, than if the speaker would have simply addressed the class via Skype while the students were in a traditional classroom setting. I intend to involve more guest speakers in the future. Ross Haenfler has already agreed to join us again next semester.
I want to be honest about the fact that I am looking forward to getting back on campus, and getting back into a traditional classroom. More than anything, I miss the day-by-day interactions with the students, and the opportunities to converse with my colleagues. However, I intend to make the most of the current situation while it lasts. I intend to continue to explore the possibilities online teaching presents, and to push myself and my students still further in Fall 2020.