Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2021, 22(2):55–69
Face-to-face contact in higher education was greatly reduced during the global health pandemic. This study examines how honors educators experienced community building with both students and colleagues during the period of emergency remote teaching. A questionnaire was developed to assess both the quality and importance of contact with students and colleagues as experienced by teachers, as well as changes therein due to the pandemic. Thirty-seven honors educators from various disciplines at a single institution participated in the study. Quantitative analysis indicates that teachers found the contact with both their students and colleagues to be of good quality overall and that they did not experience much change in the quality of communication as a result of the pandemic despite the lack of inperson interaction. Authors consider the large variation underlying their results, observing that while some teachers experienced a great deal of improvement, others perceived a significant decrease in the quality of contact. Results indicate that honors educators feel that too little attention was paid to their needs during the pandemic, especially regarding their need for community building with colleagues. Authors argue that educational leaders must ensure that teachers’ contact with both students and colleagues is sufficiently supported, emphasizing that both are important for fostering a sense of community. Authors conclude that honors educators might especially benefit from a strong sense of community in the upcoming transition to more blended educational models, as it can stimulate their professional development and promote adaptive ways of effectively dealing with change.