On the Paradoxes of Teaching Digital Anthropology Online: Reflexive Pedagogy and the Challenges of Involuntary Online Learning

Anna Apostolidou
Panteion University and Hellenic Open University


The paper examines the heightened role of reflexive pedagogy and the challenges of participation that came as a result of the sudden transition of conventional higher education into an exclusively online modality during the 2020 covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on the cultural and educational context of Greece, the paper focuses on the case study of an undergraduate course in Digital Anthropology at Panteion University and details the challenges that were met creatively by the students and the instructor. To that end it employs an ethnographic study of the classroom, and discusses students’ testimonies from the weekly online evaluation that was performed during the spring term 2020 along several axes of participation which include: participation in numbers; participation in active dialogue; participation in (collaborative) coursework using multimedia format; participation in ongoing evaluation; silent and invisible participation. The analysis is contextualized in the unprecedented social and educational conditions of the pandemic and its repercussions on the shifting roles and performances of students and instructors.

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