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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Trauma-informed online and hybrid teaching

When teaching online or in a hybrid mode during the COVID-19 pandemic, your may want to consider trauma-informed approaches.

On this page:

What is trauma-informed pedagogy and why should I consider this in my online teaching practice?

Our students come to us as whole people with incredible experiences even under the most “normal” of circumstances. We must recognize that trauma (now and pre-pandemic) is also part of their experiences. Understanding and becoming aware of our own relationship to trauma and considering trauma-aware or trauma-informed pedagogy can allow us to design more supportive learning environments (online, hybrid, or face-to-face) that our students need now more than ever. Mays Imad, a neuroscientist who studies stress and student learning, states that “a trauma-informed pedagogy enables us to recognize that amid a pandemic, our students may have a difficult time completing basic tasks they normally would, including keeping track of the slightest changes in our classes, making decisions about their learning, being motivated to study or to show up, prioritizing assignments, engaging with classmates or the subject, managing their time, or simply not quitting.” Consider learning more about trauma-informed teaching and adding student support resources provided on this page to your syllabus and class conversations. 

How can I learn more about trauma-informed (or trauma-aware) pedagogy?

There are many resources to consider when exploring how to integrate trauma-informed pedagogy into your teaching practice, but we recommend starting with the overview found in A Pandemic Pedagogy: Trauma-Informed Teaching Meets Healing-Centered Engagement, a Special Summer CFI Teaching Toolbox written by Cara Meixner, Executive Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation and professor of Grad Psychology. This resource synthesizes the current literature, provides valuable and practical resources, and offers actionable suggestions for your online, hybrid, and/or face-to-face teaching practices. 

If you are interested in discussing any of these resources or consulting with someone to integrate trauma-informed pedagogy, please email the CFI at or fill out a CFI consultation request.

What resources are available for students?


Counseling Center

The JMU Counseling Center can provide a variety of clinical, educational, consultation, and referral services. You can contact them by phone 540-568-6552 during business hours.

Survivor Advocates in The Well

Survivor Advocates are a confidential resource for JMU students impacted by sexual violence, relationship abuse, or stalking, whether recently or in the past. They also serve family, friends, and other support persons to student survivors. They welcome all who may have questions, who need support and guidance, and who are seeking resources and connection. To meet with an advocate, a student can email Jackie Hieber at or call and leave a voicemail for Jackie at 540-568-6251. An advocate will respond as soon as possible during our regular business hours and no later than one business day from the time a student initiates contact.

Title IX

The Title IX Office receives, responds to, and addresses all reports of sexual misconduct involving members of the university community. The Title IX Office is located on the 4th floor of Madison Hall. If you are teaching and learning remotely call the office 8-5 M-F at 540-568-5218 or submit questions and reports to Phone and videoconferencing consultations and appointments are available for students and employees who learn and work online. Check out the Title IX website for more information on resources and options available through Title IX or to make a report.

Dean of Students

The Dean of Students office offers a program called Madison Cares, which is a centralized program for departments, students, parents, and community members to refer or consult about students of concern. This program operates as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic, or mental-health distress.

Students, university personnel, community members, or family members can submit a Care Referral online about a student they are concerned about through the Madison Cares program. They will respond and address any concerns by providing care outreach, university resources, and direct support.

Depending upon the level of risk, the Dean of Students office can elevate the situation to the Behavioral Assessment Team, who is responsible for assessing student behavior, and make recommendations to the administration on the most appropriate intervention to respond to students whose behavior may present a threat to themselves or the safety of the university community.