Students and faculty managing transition to remote learning

Hunter Kiburz, Staff Writer

When this pandemic hit America, many states and even the government didn’t know what to do and how we should act during these uncertain times. Even when WSC announced that the rest of the semester was going online, they had to figure out ways to teach the students and help them push through the rest of the semester.

“When the college made the decision to offer courses remotely, faculty had to think about alternative methods for delivering their courses,” Technology Resource Center Director Eddie Elfers said.

With many of these students not having computers to use at their homes or even the international students having to stay here on campus because they aren’t allowed to go back to their home since everything is closed down there is a lot of implications. But with several professors already using Canvas online, they could post their notes and homework assignments there, so it was it helpful for students who had computers.

“We knew that students would find themselves in a variety of different environments—some would have reliable internet and would be able to access online classes and other technology-driven content fairly easily, while others might find themselves in a location where even cell phone coverage was spotty,” Elfers said.

With a majority of professors already teaching online classes in the first place, many had an easier transition into working remotely while others who had less experience with posting notes and lectures online had to take time to familiarize themselves with remote learning concepts.

“My office offered a number of training sessions, from Canvas basics to more advanced topics such as creating tests, to bring those folks up to a level where they felt more capable of taking their classes online,” Elfers said.

In most cases though throughout this pandemic, many of the faculty were working with the deans to develop a plan of action and make accessible learning available to students. Many faculty members would use emails, web and campus kiosk notice to give others updates on any training or potential assistance needed with online tasks.