The pandemic this year has impacted a lot of us in unique and challenging ways as we move forward into some sense of normalcy, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity for us to reflect on this past chapter with some of our professors and explore some of the unique challenges they faced.
(Susan Dawson-O’Brien) “We don’t have to be in person a lot of us love to be in person I love to be in the classroom but I fully understand that their students out there who have anxiety issues and just getting out of bed and come into class is a struggle but they are able to do it because they’re in the safety of their own room.”
(Dawson-O’Brien) “I think we’re going to need to acknowledge that not everyone wants to be in the classroom, but I also think we’re going to need to acknowledge that not everyone wants to be online. We’re in a really good position to be able to do one day a week on campus and then two days a week online.”
(Dawson-O’Brien) “I think we can adjust to that because we have students that work odd hours. I had students who worked in grocery stores during the pandemic, and they worked the overnight shift stocking the shelves so that the rest of us could have food. And then at 9 o’clock, right before they were going to sleep for the night for them, they’d come in to zoom and take the class and it was the end of the day for them. But that was the only way that they are going to get that done, they couldn’t get in their car and drive to campus and stay awake.”
Professor Price and Professor Dawson O’Brien explore some of the relational limitations that endemic created.
(Michael Price) “I mean a big part of teaching I think, and a big part of classes should be interaction and getting to know people. I like the idea of students getting to know each other as well, I think that in this day in age with all that’s going on in students’ lives, it’s difficult for most students to actually make friends with their class colleagues. I think that one of the things that I try and build into my online classes through the use of breakout rooms and as well as setting some assignments where they have to work together like a podcast team.”
(Price) “We need students talking to each other, we need students communicating with each other, and being friends with each other, being friendly. I know there’s a lot going in people’s lives when they get into JCCC, they need to be getting on with each other. I think it’s incumbent upon what me as an instructor, to try and help that happen around the course.”
(Price) “I’m not saying that’s the driving factor behind the course and what I’m trying to do but that’s got to be a full part of it. So when we’re back to face-to-face I think that’s something that I’ll try and encourage through my classes.”
(Dawson-O’Brien) “So it took me a little bit to be able to read people’s faces on zoom as opposed to being in person. We discussed a lot, there was a lot of talking to them and not interacting with them and after a day or two of that you realize, “I can’t continue to do what I did in the classroom in zoom.”
(Dawson-O’Brien) “I’m actually taking an online class so it’s really nice to be in the seat of the student, to figure out what really stresses me out as a student. Being only able to take one test, and having this much time, and not sure if I can use my in-home materials. So by being an online student I have now learned some things that I’m applying to my own classes and I’m going to change the way how I do quizzes for the next fall. We’re still going to do online quizzes and it’s really important to be able to feel what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera, to be the one trying to get this information, trying to pass, trying to get through this as for as well as four other classes. Because mine is only one of two, three, four, some of them have five other classes.”
I also asked our professors if the transition to online classes had impacted our education.
(Price) “To be honest, I don’t think so. obviously face-to-face is nice, we’re human beings, it’s a nice to sort of meet people in person. But what my feeling is, is that because we’re doing this now over zoom with quite a tight schedule that’s laid out on canvas, It’s requiring a lot of work, it is quite tight, it is quite efficient, and we’re not wasting time while someone comes in late you know and makes their way down the row, or I’m late, or someone stuck in traffic trying to get into college, they can’t find a parking spot. Stuff I heard from time-to-time.”
(Price) “In a perfect world, face-to-face communications should be what it’s about. But this style of teaching, I think, Has been pretty efficient.”
(Dawson-O’Brien) “I think we will be able to provide a variety of different modalities, we’ll be able to offer these classes in a variety of ways that I think may attractive students. We might pick up students that we might not have gotten if we were only straight in person or if we were only online. I think being able to offer that hybrid is. . . the pandemic really forced us to see this is a real option and it likely will be something that students will want.”
(Price) “We took a challenge, and we did what we could with it in the best way that we know how and I think we all came through it okay.”
Thanks for watching. This is Ga Ji Wang reporting for the Campus Ledger.