FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - While it may be a disruption to students, professors in Fort Wayne are using the transition to online-only classes as an opportunity for growth.
“What I have been telling the traditional students that have not been in online classes is that this is an opportunity to learn truly a great skill,” said Dr. Jeffrey Walls, Senior Professor Indiana Tech College of Business.
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Walls said being able to communicate and present online might be the skill that allows students to lock down a job after school.
Walls shared how two of his students were successfully able to present their work under very different circumstances.
“One is now in Minneapolis and the other is in Sweden,” Walls said. “This class is at 8 o’clock in the morning, so clearly you have different time zones. They logged in and had their presentation uploaded, and this thing looked outstanding. Here they are presenting around the world.”
Beth Kuebler-Wolf, University of Saint Francis Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies said the challenge of transitioning into online classes is particularly hard for students in nursing and art classes where they are no longer able to get hands-on experience.
“It's very difficult to replicate say clinicals or when you are on a site visit,” Kuebler-Wolf said. “That's not just at USF. Any university that has these same programs are all facing the same issues.”
Professors have had to adjust assignments and change lesson plans to meet the needs of students, understanding that students have had severe disruptions to their personal lives due to COVID-19.
“I've been trying to make it a little more engaging in a different way,” Kuebler-Wolf said. “For example, I’m having one of my art history classes make memes and gifs about the material we have been studying.”
USF is also making a number of classes pass/fail for the semester.
“I know my colleagues also are doing similar things cutting back on the number of assignments, and being more flexible with due dates,” Kuebler-Wolf said. “And really trying to keep up communication with students to let them know that we are here for them.”