School Canceled, Classes Not
This winter has already caused Brandywine to close, for at least day classes, eight times. These many school closings have caused professors to look for alternative ways to make-up classes.
Typically “snow days” are a minor inconvenience that professors and students both embrace because they provide an unexpected break during the week. However, after so many days off, many classes are behind on their syllabuses, and professors are looking for ways to catch up.
As is often the case in the modern classroom, professors are looking to technology to aid in the education process.
In the past the only way to make up something as interactive as a lecture would be to have a make-up class period. With so many classes being missed this would prove to be an inefficient method.
In an act of clairvoyance, professors were asked to familiarize themselves with ways to have class online. One of the most popular methods of hosting online lectures is through Adobe Connect. Using Adobe Connect allows teachers to post both pre-recorded and live lectures on ANGEL.
Dr. Mark Boudreau is a Biology Professor, and has been using Adobe Connect to compensate for missed classes. Dr. Boudreau has more than 20 years of teaching experience, and explained how course material would have to be made up before everyone had ready access to the Internet.
“You would have to do make up lectures, or have written assignments, or just tell people to read the book,” Dr. Boudreau said. “That’s all you could do.”
Despite the convenience factor of having an online lecture some students are still not on board with the new technology.
Freshman Christian DeLuccia is a student in one of Dr. Boudreau’s biology classes, and says he prefers the old-school methods of making up work.
“I’d rather have the lesson in person having the teacher teach me it instead of it being online,” DeLuccia said.
DeLuccia also noted that he felt that the online lectures had a negative impact on his test score.
Dr. Boudreau was aware that some students would not be fans of the online lectures, and adjusted the first exam accordingly.
“I made the test easier than I usually make tests because of all the weather and the disruption,” Dr. Boudreau said. “And then people didn’t do any better.”
Though it is unclear why students did not do any better on the easier test, it does raise questions about changing technology in the classroom. The most difficult aspect about having online lectures to subsidize regular classes seems to be making sure students actually participate.
Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org