Classroom learning is quite different now that we’re distancing ourselves from just about everyone.
“In this time period we were stuck on the idea that we were going to have in person classes, and then we got moved and shifted to online classes. It’s just been a weird transition, that nobody really wanted or asked for” says Sophomore Javin Bowman.
When LSU announced the decision to move classes online for the remainder of the Spring semester, students, professors and administrators alike faced a new set of challenges.
“I do believe that classes through zoom are much more challenging just because personally I’m used to being able to point to exactly what I don’t understand with a pencil and paper in my hand and get the instructor to explain it to me," says Freshmen Mariana Manchester, "but online it’s just something different that you can’t do.”
Dr. Sasha Thackaberry, Vice President of LSU Online and Continuing Education says, “We have a lot of faculty who have been teaching online for a long time who really like it, who have well-designed courses and then we have a lot of faculty who are just completely on board with the fact that student health comes first and that we’re gonna figure this out as we go, and they’ve been just amazing."
Many Professors such as Jill Trepanier already had an adapted version of their lecture class. But she faced a different challenge in switching to online– a new phenomena known as “Zoom Bombing”, where unwelcome guests join a call and disrupt it with various profanities.
“The difficulty now is I lock the meeting everyday, every time my class starts, two minutes after official class starts. I kind of warned the students, ya know via email and said ‘hey get in there early’, I’m usually logged in by quarter after ten so that students have ample time to get in there," Trepanier said. "The goal is to get as many students as possible and then of course I have the recordings up for the people that have any wifi issues. So it’s definitely not ideal, I definitely wish zoom would take care of that,”
Traditional online classes pose many differences as opposed to remote learning as an unexpected necessary precaution. LSU Vice President of Online and Continuing education, Dr. Sasha Thackaberry, stressed the differences between these two.
"In a truly designed online experience theres not as much zoom. It's just not a thing where you're doing face to face lecture all the time," she said. "Thats just not part of how online classes are designed. Its much more micro lectures and recorded lectures. and then interaction. The synchronous interaction is much more discussion focused."
While we may be wondering what classroom learning may look like come fall, we do know that all parts of LSU’s campus are doing their part to make the best out of this challenge and prepare for the future.