Balancing Privacy & Presence in Post-Covid Pedagogy: A TPC Study

...I’ve always been concerned about my Presence in the online classroom...

- K.M., Associate Professor at a Public University

...Privacy, I don’t think we’re anywhere near where this platform needs to be...

- C.A., Professor at a Private University

...My Pedagogy?...I had to rethink a lot of that...

- S.N., Dept. Chair at a Private University


Covid-19 forced Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) classes online and created pressure for more personal interaction to combat isolation. Faculty sought new approaches to teaching and learning for digital spaces and institutions called for increasing presence in recorded environments. These changes created a need to balance data privacy with human presence in our classes and elicited this study. This research shares TPC faculty experiences teaching during the pandemic. It addresses the difficulty of teaching, supporting privacy, and creating presence in the captured classroom. Through interviews with faculty, I offer what their experiences have been like and how their pedagogy has changed. I marry contemporary privacy and presence scholarship with their experiences to develop a heuristic and to recommend practices for educators that can help support data privacy and nurture the right kind of presence for today’s surveilled classrooms.


About the Author

Authored by Dr. Philip B. Gallagher

A headshot of Dr. Philip B. Gallagher with a black background. He is shown wearing green-yellow glasses, smiling in a button-down blue shirt with an orange and black bowtie.

Dr. Philip B. Gallagher is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Mercer University. His current research interests are UX design, accessibility, and biometrics research for multimodal technical communication. His recent publications are in Computers & Composition, the 2022 & 2021 STC Summit Conference Proceedings, and the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. He has an article forthcoming in Computers & Composition Online. Also, he is a member of ACM SIGDOC, ATTW, and STC.