After Baylor announced its decision to move all classes online, teachers across campus were tasked to find out how to make their entire course load fit into the new platform and some departments held technology training days to help students best make the transition. However, some professors will be forced to get creative. Classes such as lifetime fitness, photography, labs, etc. are harder to transfer because of the physical presence required for course learning.
Students should respond to these unusual circumstances by looking for ways to build each other up instead of tear each other down, and that courtesy extends to the Baylor faculty. Instead of focusing on where professors have been unskilled in technology in the past, students should work to best maximize their learning capabilities during this time of isolation and give professors time to adapt as well.
As the Baylor community steps into its first week of all-university online learning, the virtual campus has the ultimate chance to prove what it means to be a part of the Baylor family. If students truly believe in Baylor’s values then they should support their professors as everyone in the situation attempts to navigate these crazy times we’ve found ourselves in.
Technology can be challenging for not only professors but students alike and students should not judge their professors for not having all of the answers. If professors are struggling to adjust on the new technological platforms or if grades come back slower than normal, students should not call out professors for having to work in new ways. As teachers are adapting to technology they’ve never had to use before, students need to give their professors time to allow them to adjust to the new normal. In classrooms, students are taught to learn as much as they can from the wealth of knowledge their professors provide. But now, in the times of COVID-19, Baylor needs to rely on each other to have a successful second half to the spring semester.
During this time, students should take the opportunity to be more vocal with their professors. If a professor is struggling with technology, offer constructive ways the class could change that could benefit the class, be easily available and responsive to email communications and use email to get in more regular contact with professors.
By removing face-to-face contact, student and professor feedback will be more crucial than ever and will force both parties to put new focus into learning.
While so much can be gained from this experience, both negative and positive, none of it can happen unless a proper period of grace is given to let everyone settle into the new normal created by the pandemic.
Students, professors are only human and while no one is expecting the transition to be smooth, bumps along the road aren’t the end of the road to the semester or your GPA.
Professors, please be patient with your students, putting the normalcy of classes back in our lives is comforting but also terrifying.
As online classes take hold remember the people behind the screens are still fighting for your success even if they can’t be there to do it in person.