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059: Reflecting on a Year of Virtual Teaching with Nat Lumby, Jay Wong and Chris Ambedkar


Hooray for friends! Today’s episode features 3 of them!


I have the wonderful good fortune of working with some great people, including some of my very best friends on this planet, three of whom you’ll hear from today.


Jay Wong, Nat Lumby, Chris Ambedkar and I all teach in the same undergraduate program. Jay is also a practicing designer. Nat is a packaging specialist currently pursuing her PhD. Chris is a digital media go-to with experience working in the creative side of provincial government. And they all happen to be award winning university lecturers!


The four of us were very interconnected this year. I co-taught a course with Chris and also one with Jay, who taught a course with Nat. I worked with Nat to build on her work in another course for delivery to a spring-semester audience. We have been learning from each other all year. I asked them to sit down with me and take a few minutes to reflect on a year of virtual teaching, including what worked really well, what surprised us (for better or for worse) and what the future of virtual education might look like.


What you’ll hear in the next 45 minutes is our personal experiences of what worked well to build community and increase student engagement. You’ll hear the words ‘flexibility’, ‘community-building’ and ‘balance’ a number of times. You’ll hear our thoughts on breakout rooms, our video conferencing software feature wish list, as well as how ‘edutainment’ has a bad rap and why that needs to change. A layer that adds to the conversation is that three of four of us have taken some or all of our graduate level courses in an online environment, whether by choice or by circumstance.


I hope you’ll find this conversation as valuable as I did.


Welcome friends! Let’s get this conversation started.


Nat, please lead things off for us...



About Our Guests:


Natalia Lumby teaches in a variety of areas at the School of Graphic Communications Management, including design, premedia and business management. With a background in management science and a keen interest in all things visual, her research seeks to understand how people connect with products. Currently she is focusing in the areas of packaging and design, with a focus on understanding consumer visual preferences in different product categories. Other areas of interest include zero waste packaging as well as the changing dynamics of packaging in online supply chains.


Jay Wong is a design-specialist and award-winning educator who teaches at the School of Graphic Communications Management. He has nearly a decade of production coordination and ad design experience for a large Canadian media company.




Chris Ambedkar is an award-winning educator, creator, and communicator. His professional work bridges academia and industry. Chris has experience as the Creative Lead for the Ministry of Colleges & Universities in the Ontario Public Service where he leverages visual thinking and communication techniques to shape internal and external communication, including COVID-19 communications. As a lecturer, he challenges his students to build connections between their education, solve real-world problems, and drive positive social change. Chris teaches in the areas of design, graphic communications, digital media.



Music (public domain via freemusicarchive.org):

Podington Bear - Steppin’ In

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle

Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Episode Cover Art: Canva (remixed by Diana Varma)

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