Faculty Members Reflect on Online Course Delivery
Faculty members and instructors from all departments are adapting at an extraordinary rate to ensure their students feel supported and can complete as many learning objectives as possible. These stories have been edited slightly.
Martha Healey, Food Science
“I teach a small class of seven. When we switched to distance learning, I was apprehensive to put it mildly. I had no idea how to run BigBlueButton (BBB), had no headset/microphone and above all, have little technical ability. The Chemistry group rallied together - we experimented on our own, organized several learning sessions for BBB, and learned and experimented together. We talked together about strategies and were a sounding board for each other about how to revamp course material and course evaluations, as well as the best ways to engage students who might be having difficulty managing their own anxieties.
My first distance learning class using BBB was this morning. Every student showed up, at 8:35 no less, and was fully engaged. The students all participated throughout the class. When we took our usual break, a number of my students turned on their webcams, introduced their pets and just talked to each other. It was fantastic.
I am thrilled to say that, despite the current crisis and switch away from face-to-face classes, the students will receive their full course.”
Kim Hellemans, Neuroscience
“For teachers poised to go online, Poll Everywhere has a great tool where you can turn a bunch of polls into a mini (anonymous) survey. It's a great way to get student voices into the lecture. I'm also checking in daily with my students, and using BBB to have open office hours and break-out sessions.”
Martha Mullally, Biology
“Just held my first live, online class with my awesome students and it was great! Wow, students are resilient and capable!”
Kristin Connor, Health Sciences
"Just finished our first lab Zoom meeting! So great to connect with my team. We talked about the importance of establishing routines, science and more!"
Steven Cooke, Biology
“Reflections on our first virtual lab meeting via Zoom: I really appreciated seeing faces. Facial expressions mean so much... it feels more personal and connected.”