During this study, one of my goals was to explore if specific types of online collaborative lessons would impact various dimensions of empathy and cultural curiosity. In the original study design, three sessions were planned, each with a different lesson focus and approach. Session 1 was designed around a typical community-building, "getting-to-know-you" activity of the type frequently found in in-person classrooms early in the school year. The lesson for Session 2 was explicitly focused on building empathy. Session 3 was planned to explore the impact of a collaborative real-world problem-solving activity.
Session 1: "Getting to Know You."
After a short introduction or both classes and front-loading about what the students could expect over the course of our meetings, the students were paired up and sent into Zoom break-out rooms. They were tasked with collaborating to build a Venn Diagram Similarities and Differences Chart via a shared Google Slides document. Samples of the files can be seen here:
Session #2: Empathy Building
For the second meeting of the two classes, the lesson planned was designed to measure the relative impact of an explicit empathy building lesson on student empathy and cultural curiosity. Utilizing the interactive capabilities of PearDeck, I led the partner classes though a Google Slide deck that asked students to explore the meaning of empathy, share a challenging experience with a partner, and predict how their partner was feeling during that experience.
Session #3: Challenge-Based Learning
The third session activity was planned to challenge students to identify and propose solutions to real-world challenges facing both communities. This lesson was intended to be based upon the approaches found in Challenge-Based Learning. Unfortunately, due to extreme absences in both classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to complete the third meeting of the partner classrooms.
To learn more about Challenge-Based Learning, click here.