Finishing the third week of the very first fall semester of a COVID-19 society, LSU students and professors have been getting used to the new learning obstacle of a face mask.

LSU is allowing in-person classes if the capacity is less than ten people and mixture of online and in-person causes stress on students. 

Students typically are shy when it comes to asking questions and being involved in the class. However, with face masks as an extra barrier, teachers are losing the nonverbal actions that they would typically pick up on to adjust their teaching style.

Professors now rely heavily on eye contact. 

Doctor Ryan Rasner, interpersonal communications and public speaking professor, explains how previous teaching styles are adapting to this change.

“As instructors, we relied a lot less on voice inflection and stuff like that, and now we are having to talk through the mask and reach the back of the room.”

Rasner stated that the personal connection is missing between students and teachers because of the awkwardness and uncomfortable feeling the face masks provide.

“It hinders the connection you make with your students.”

Rasner is also concerned about the new professors who lack the teaching experience to be able to adapt and are comfortable with interruptions during a lecture.

"With newer instructors, this is going to harm them because they do not have the practice and the knowledge base to stop at a time and then start back up where they left off.”

To continue the rest of the semester, be sure to enhance the volume of your voice, sharpen your inflection and determine your tone to improve conversation and clarity while wearing a face mask.