This paper seeks to answer what characterizes people’s online teaching and learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. I conducted a one-month ethnographic study of five informants using Merleau-Ponty’s key phenomenological concepts to examine how current working and studying conditions challenge both students as well as educators’ temporal and spatial sensations and what strategies they take to cope with these challenges during their Zoom meetings. Additionally, I employed the autoethnographic method in order to fill in the gap where participation with informants’ daily life was unreachable by documenting my personal experience during and beyond the Zoom class. Through a small sample of the target population, this paper captures a snapshot of people’s initial adjustment to remote educational channels, particularly via Zoom meetings, and therefore provides helpful information in terms of creating resources and improving Zoom class experience for students and educators.
Keyword: Auto-ethnography, digital ethnography, phenomenology, affordance, digital divide, Zoom class, applied communication