In Fall 2020, recognizing the distinctive challenges presented by the virtual learning environment—and identifying opportunities to facilitate meaningful relationships among faculty and students—Barnard College created the Preceptor Program as a partnership between the Office of the Provost and Beyond Barnard. Students applied to positions to support faculty in the Zoom classroom, where they moderate classroom discussions, share screens, manage break-out rooms, and help to smooth the flow of virtual learning. In the process, students have the chance to work directly with faculty, and sit in on courses that align with (or productively misalign with) their other academic work.
Since the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, the Preceptor Program has facilitated the placement of more than 500 individual students into roles. Roughly 70 of students working as Preceptors are on work study at Barnard, and the role has evolved as courses have moved back to an in-person modality.
Student Preceptors support faculty teaching in virtual and in-person formats. They manage in-class logistics, help prepare faculty for upcoming class sessions, and provide attendance and Q/A logistical support. They also manage online discussion boards, post classroom recordings, and monitor other digital forums for comments and questions about the class. Preceptors play a pivotal role in ensuring that virtual classes are held smoothly, and promote a productive virtual learning environment.
They have access to support at Beyond Barnard, along with Barnard's IMATS and AV Services teams. But perhaps most importantly, Preceptors often develop mentoring relationships with faculty and serve as near-peers for their fellow students in classroom settings. The program has promoted a more open and productive classroom environment.
Questions about the Preceptor Program can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.