Students and professors adapt to online courses

Rey Green, Staff Reporter

Students are in week two of online classes, but so are professors. This quarter, Zoom classes are active. According to interviewed professors, they have changed how they approach certain classes that were not supposed to be online. Some students have never taken online classes.  

Associate Art and Design Professor David Bieloh teaches graphic design and said he can tell some students feel overwhelmed, but some have adapted pretty well. Bieloh said most students are unsure of what to expect. 

“It has affected how we teach our classes and how we interact with our students. We have to be extremely accommodating and very transparent with what we’re doing. We have to be really prepared to make changes daily with our classes and our content,” Bieloh said.  

Bieloh has been understanding with certain situations that have come up and acknowledged it’s been a challenge. He said online classes do have a positive aspect to them because students who are normally quiet feel the freedom to open up and be engaged online. Bieloh said a number of his students have mentioned how thankful they are that the coursework is organized and well prepared.  

“People are just nervous. They are just trying to get used to the new environment,” Bieloh said. 

Erykah Weems, a senior and intern at National Crittenton, gave insight on what her online school experience has been like. Weems said since she’s had online classes in the past, she enjoys having the accessibility to PowerPoints and instructors’ lecture videos. Weems said her only dislikes are the times her classes meet. 

Weems said when she first heard about Zoom and how it was struggling with security, she was nervous. 

“Some professors have been responsive. If some professors are older they are harder to reach because they are not always on their computer. Younger professors who have their emails on their phone typically respond much faster,” Weems said. 

Weems said it’s hard to stay motivated during these times because there’s no reminder that you are actually in school while you are in the comfort of your own home. She said it feels like she’s on a home vacation most days. Weems said her internship keeps her close to her computer, and it keeps her in a routine to finish what she needs to accomplish. 

“A tactic I use to keep me on track is the calendar on my phone. I use it a lot to set reminders. I have all of my major assignments’ due dates written down, so that gives me a week heads up when something is due. I also make a daily to-do list,” Weems said. 

Assistant Professor of Accounting Ryan Cahalan said he’s been fortunate enough to have taught online classes before. He said he is thankful he already had material for online classes that are designed to be online. 

 “I got into this because I love to teach. What I feel that I’m really missing is the interactions with my students. Seeing them on a semi daily basis and being able to joke and laugh with them and seeing their faces to make sure they get the material,” Cahalan said. 

Cahalan teaches both an undergraduate class and a graduate class. 

“My graduate level class was more responsive than my undergraduate class. Every Monday and Wednesday I hold a two hour long Zoom session, where I can answer questions from students directly from my smart computer. Right now, I’m not getting very high attendance in my undergraduate class,” Cahalan said.