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Addressing Burnout Through Course Design

June 20, 2022

What is Burnout?

The concept of burnout in the workplace was originally likened to Herbert Freudenberg’s 1974 definition of machines burning out. “Burn-out” was defined as “to fail, wear out, or become exhausted by making excessive demands on energy, strength, or resources.” (Freudenberger, 1974).  It is worth noting that this definition invites a dehumanizing comparison of workers to machinery. This initial understanding of burnout has since evolved and will continue evolving as the proper understanding of this phenomenon is still debated (Schaufeli, 2021). At this point, we can identify two dimensions of burnout: physical exhaustion and mental distancing.

The physical and emotional experience of burnout

While the experience of burnout is unique to the individual, there are some commonalities that have been reported. If you have noticed yourself experiencing any of the following, then you may currently be feeling burned out or could be on your way to burnout.

  • exhaustion regardless of the amount of rest one gets
  • mental distance from one’s work (for example: feeling uninspired, forgetting deadlines or details, feeling a mental “block”)
  • feeling cynical about one’s work or job

How Course Design can Help

There are several interconnected nodes that contribute to burnout. One we will focus on in the upcoming “Avoiding Burnout Using Course Design” workshop is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Designing a course is a massive undertaking. By applying design principles such as Backward Design and creating measurable learning objectives, you can frame your course structure before you start pulling resources together. Additionally, you can use features and tools within Canvas to assist you while you are teaching the course. For example, Canvas New Analytics makes it easy to directly email learners who have not engaged or who have missed deadlines, rather than copying and pasting many email addresses.

To learn more about what burnout is and how course design can help you avoid it, be sure to register for this session below. If you miss the session, then be sure to catch the Follow Up Friday blog post where we will link the recorded session.

Upcoming Events

June

Workshop Wednesday: Avoiding Burnout Using Course Design – This Workshop Wednesday focuses on specific and actionable course design strategies that can help faculty avoid becoming overwhelmed and thus lead to burnout. Instead of focusing solely on personal strategies for dealing with chronic stress, this workshop delves into specific teaching strategies and course design steps faculty can use to make their teaching work for them and their students. This workshop is for anyone teaching who is using online learning tools such as Canvas to supplement their course, as well as those teaching classes that are solely online. Facilitated by James Butler, Digital Learning Strategist.

Quick Hits: Getting Started with iClicker Basics – Whether you want to make your lectures dynamic by using real-time knowledge check quizzes or you want an easy way to poll your class about a topic, iClicker Cloud can help you. This Quick Hit is designed for those who are fairly new to navigating iClicker Cloud. Now is the perfect time to learn as we prepare our classes for Fall 2022. Join us for a brief overview of iClicker Cloud as we guide you through initial setup steps and demonstrate its functions. Facilitated by Clemson Online’s Learning Technology Specialist, Axel Ruiz.

Special Kaltura Training Sessions

If you missed out on our special Kaltura Training series and you would like to attend live virtual training on everything you need to get started with Kaltura, please see the schedule and links below. If you would like to watch the previously recorded May Kaltura trainings, then please visit our Kaltura training playlist.

June and July Kaltura Training Schedule

June 27th – Basics I and Basics II

June 28th – Advanced I and Advanced II

July 11th – Basics I and Basics II

July 12th – Advanced I and Advanced II

Kaltura Basics I is an overview of Kaltura and how you can interact with it. It will introduce you to the difference between accessing Kaltura through Canvas and MediaSpace, the difference between My Media and Course Videos, adding an existing video to Kaltura, adding a collaborator (sharing a video), and embedding a video in Canvas. Be sure to register for Basics II, Advanced I, and Advanced II to learn even more about Kaltura! Register here to join either the June 27th Basics I session or the July 11th Basics I session. Both dates run from 10:00a to 10:30a. Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Learning Technology Specialist. For questions about this training, please email James Butler.

Kaltura Basics II is a demonstration of using Kaltura to create videos. It will cover accessing the Kaltura recorder, creating a video using the recorder, basic video edits, accessing your created video, and adding machine-generated captioning. Be sure to register for Advanced I & Advanced II to learn more about Kaltura! Register here to join either the June 27 Basics II session or the July 11th Basics II session. Both dates run from 11:00a to 11:30a. Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Learning Technology Specialist. For questions about this training, please email James Butler.

Kaltura Advanced I is dedicated to creating interactive quizzes in your Kaltura videos. After this training, you will be able to create a quiz in Kaltura, add a video quiz as an assignment in Canvas, access quiz results, and use the Kaltura dropbox to let students submit videos. Be sure to register for Advanced II to learn more about Kaltura! Register here for the June 28th Kaltura Advanced I session or the July 12th Advanced I session. Both dates run from 9:00a to 9:30a. Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Learning Technology Specialist. For questions about this training, please email James Butler.

Advanced II focuses on quality pedagogy when using Kaltura. After this session, you will be able to implement best practices for using Kaltura and you will be able to explain how to use Kaltura to enhance your class. Register here for either the June 28th Kaltura Advanced II training or the July 12th session. Both dates run from 11:00a – 11:30a. Facilitated by James Butler, Digital Learning Strategist. For questions about this training, please email James Butler.

References

Freudenberger, Herbert J. “Staff Burn‐out.” Journal of Social Issues 30.1 (1974): 159-165.

Mayo Clinic Staff (2021), Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, June 5). Know the Signs of Job Burnout. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/burnout/art-20046642

Schaufeli, W. (2021). The burnout enigma solved? Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 47(3), 169–170. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3950

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