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Wright State University’s (WSU) online classes have just finished up their first weeks, and while it is a new experience for all, the core of the classes is still present.
Instructor comments on their first classes
While some Instructors are having some difficulty adjusting from in-person classrooms to an online format, their overall experience has been better than expected.
“Panopto and the Center for Teaching and Learning have been fantastic,” said English Language and Literature Senior Lecturer Brady Allen. “They go above and beyond with trying to help all of us navigate these new and difficult times.”
Amanda R. Harris, WSU graduate student, and an English 1100 Instructor, feels prepared as well.
“Wright State has done a great job with their virtual setup,” said Harris. “I’ve really had a good experience. As far as my own classes have gone, I am still excited for them, which feels great.”
In terms of the interaction with students, though, some things are different.
“It’s a lot more difficult to interact and encourage students, especially those who are shy,” said Harris. “Making sure that you interact with your professors would really help us a lot. It is uncomfortable to be teaching to your office, rather than a room full of people.”
Allen shares similar concerns but is optimistic.
“I like to see a face, you know,” said Allen. “I’m yet to find out if a community feel is missing, but again, I feel confident in the direction classes are headed.”
Online difference for students
While the main difference of online classes may be social, there are also differences in how classes are conducted for students.
“A big difference for me is how static the courses are,” said Yasel Rosado, senior at WSU. “In an in-person class, the professor and students are able to move due dates around if they need to, but that just doesn’t happen with online courses.”
While the face-to-face interaction isn’t there, professors have still been patient with students.
“My computer isn’t the best, and thankfully my instructors have been very patient,” said Rosado. “It’s important that these things go both ways. Both professors and students should be open and patient with technology issues.”
Other students seem to share the same ideas as Rosado.
“There are things that you just can’t get through a screen,” Lee Huntsberger, a member of Greek life at Wright State, said. “Maintaining the mindset of being patient with one another is the best way to get through this, for both students and instructors.”
The impact on campus:
Even though online instruction is a much different format than what WSU is used to, things haven’t changed that much on campus.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, honestly.” said Huntsberger. “The Library is still open, and seeing faces is helpful.”
For those on campus, there are still events happening.
“I recommend finding ways to get involved with organizations that are still going,” Huntsberger said. “You know, finding ways to make gatherings happen.”
Harris advises students to relax and take a break if they need it.
“Just breathe. No matter if you’re online or in-person, first day or last day, breathe. You can’t get good ideas if you’re stressed out,” said Harris. “Most instructors will be empathetic because, hey, we’re going through the exact same thing.”