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ODU Student sitting by the Webb Lion Fountain

Virtual Café: A response to social distancing

Virtual Café is specifically in response to social distancing that resulted from the Coronavirus - Covid 19 pandemic. Dr. Key came up with this idea for a supportive forum to help faculty, to remember that we are a part of a community, and that in this challenging time we are not alone. Virtual Café meets every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Attendees are invited to share their experiences. Participants talk about their adjustment to life working at home, sharing space with their family members who are also working at home, explaining to children of varying ages the reason for practicing social distancing.

In seeking to support the faculty, Virtual Café has had guest presenters, Dr. Remica Bingham- Risher, Dr. Mark Rehfuss and Provost Agho, who have shared their experiences with online teaching and looking forward. What is unique about Virtual Cafe is that there is no script, there no agenda, and the discussions are completely dynamic. The discussion grows out of the concerns presented. Topics that have emerged ranged from, a problem-solving to re-conceptualizing online teaching. Padlet and Flipgrid were suggested to keep students engaged.

Participants express their gratitude for the Virtual Café forum. They see it as an open and safe space where they support each other, by offering tips and encouragement. Virtual Cafe reminds us that we are Monarch Strong.

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