Journal of Appreciative Education

Combating Compassion Fatigue: An Appreciative Pivot to the Virtual Classroom in a New Educational World

E Ayn Welleford, Gigi Amateau, John T White, Nico Stanculescu


In 2020, education pivoted the entirety of teaching to the world of digital, and institutions braced for budgetary shortfalls. Faculty embraced new technology to continue facilitating quality learning, meet community-identified needs, and further students’ professional identity development. Appreciative educators chose to innovatively adapt and continue the work within new parameters. In response, the authors created a five-week course entitled, Building Compassion Satisfaction: Self-Honoring, Meaning Making, and Community. The university distance-learning system was augmented by our webinar platform designed to open the newly created interactive and experiential graduate level course to include professional learners and community members. This redesign resulted in 180 highly satisfied learners from diverse settings: graduate students, professional learners working in long term support services, and community members as lifelong learners. Combining all learners aimed to normalize the experience of compassion fatigue, build belongingness, and strengthen strengths across learner groups.



compassion fatigue; compassion satisfaction; positive pivot; COVID-19; gerontology

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ISSN: 2165-5421