Cooper Widick

Online learning has impacted both teachers and students in different ways. 

With many students stranded from campus or kept away by strict social distancing guidelines, we have had to adapt to how things are now. These changes have not been easy. 

Adjunct Professor Heather Rimes of the criminology department and Associate Professor of Political Science Kelly McHugh gave their opinions on the new format of the virtual lecturing. 

“Online is a great option for students who are worried about the virus and allows students to maintain control over their course work,” Rimes said.

Dr. McHugh has had a harder time adjusting to remote learning than her colleague.

”It’s been difficult to have the hybrid model to have both virtual and in person groups engaged,” McHugh said.

They were then asked whether or not students were reciprocating the effort the teachers were putting in or if it was a more apathetic response.  

“What I’ve seen so far, from my remote learners, is that a couple of students are very gung-ho about class and [there are] others I haven’t even heard their voices,” Rimes said. 

Technology is both a great boon for society and a tedious thing to get right.  For example, Dr. McHugh said that having to learn all the new tools and mannerisms of the virtual space in a short amount of time was the greatest hardship, especially since she had never taught online before and it was a quick turnaround. 

“The school has the policy that you have to have a camera on so students are forced to engage almost…I thought engagement would be awkward but students have shown a true want to be engaged,” McHugh said.

The new learning environment has proven to be a great hurdle for professors and students alike but they are not alone. Florida Southern College administration has always shown an aptitude for helping their own and this is no different. The professors have both received tons of support from the school. 

“We Zoom with all the teachers and I saw some teachers that I had never seen before, and it promoted a sense of camaraderie, a sense that we all had each other’s backs,” Rimes said. 

McHugh mentioned more ways that all of the faculty stay in touch. 

“We have a teacher Facebook page that we share tips and tricks about online learning in,” McHugh said.

Teachers are still adapting to new virtual classrooms and some problems are always prone to happen, but the semester has only just begun and can only go up from here.

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