When Kevin Mercer, an instructor in the History department and double alumnus of UCF, offered his students an extra credit assignment about COVID-19, he figured his students would have creative responses, but he wasn’t expecting the assignment to go viral. However, when he shared the assignment on Twitter, it garnered national attention and he has since been featured in articles in the Washington Post and USA Today, and has been interviewed on the radio.
The assignment was to select one item that a historian 100 years in the future should feature in an exhibit about COVID-19. They were not permitted to select obvious answers like medical equipment and masks. The students’ answers included glass doors through which students spoke with their grandparents, notes left from a mother who is a nurse and half-used notebooks. Knowing that Mercer has room in his classroom for contrarians, some students also successfully debated that there was only one answer to this question: masks.