People Innovation Excellence

Empathy and Connection: Studying Multicultural Literature in Virtual Classrooms

The global Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted many aspects of life, including education. Students are asked to study at home, and the classrooms are conditioned to adjust to the changes. The use of technology is maximized so that students can still study effectively despite the situation. However, a challenge occurs when students claim that online learning creates distance between them and their lecturers, resulting in demotivation and unproductivity. They also feel emotionally disconnected to their peers and lecturers. By studying multicultural literature, it is expected that students can develop sense of empathy and broad-mindedness; thus, they can get connected to people more conveniently although they are separated by distance. This paper discusses experiences and methods of studying multicultural literature in virtual classrooms. Firstly, it investigates students’ perception toward multicultural literature. The responses were collected from a questionnaire given to English-majored students from Bina Nusantara University, Indonesia. Next, it shares experiences from activities of virtual classrooms in two universities. The purpose of this paper is to shed a light on the importance of multicultural literature, especially during the pandemic-induced online learning.

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