What’s on Your Desk? Part III

By Bryan Ling

Another week or so, another nail biting analysis of LSE profs, their desks, and what the first have on the second.

Dr Jo Murkens, Department of Law (LL106, LL4Z6)

B: What’s one item on your desk that you couldn’t go without?

My new USB microphone! It probably made no difference at all to the students’ experience, but I felt that a good mic was essential for audio narration. According to student feedback, however, I should have concentrated more on varying the monotonous tone of my vocal delivery.

B: How have you found the experience of teaching online? Are there any ways in which you’ve had to adapt your teaching style to the new medium?

Online teaching definitely posed a technical challenge. A Zoom class is relatively simple, but hybrid classes — where off-campus students connect to a face-to-face class at the LSE — are a little trickier. The tech has to capture the Zoomers, the teacher, and the students in the room, and it doesn’t always work. I also found it much harder to motivate quiet students to participate in online classes or to integrate Zoomers in hybrid classes, especially when their cameras were switched off. But in terms of teaching the materials, there was no difference to previous years.

B: Were there any differences you noticed between student interactions during in-person classes as compared to online?

I was not able to tell if online students were on their phones as much as I was able to with my in-class students.

B: Any messages you have for your students?

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank our students for being patient as we worked through the various challenges of online teaching and commend them for sitting through hours and hours of our amateurish and joke-free lecture recordings. The amount of time it took our students to watch lectures is disproportionate to the time it took us to record them – and to the speed with which they will be forgotten. 


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