Professors, students at ECU share new experience with online instruction

Published: Apr. 26, 2020 at 7:27 PM EDT
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Like many colleges and universities, in March ECU made the move to alternative course delivery such as online video or email-based instruction.

After several weeks, a number of professors are talking about the experience as students prepare for exams in the coming weeks.

"Some are actually more confident on these online settings than they would be in a classroom. That's been an interesting observation," said Dr. Glenn Hubbard, a professor at the university.

Though for students studying communication, professors have found challenges with certain coursework.

"It was the skills, hands-on courses that I personally found a lot more difficult," Hubbard added.

While the format is new for students and professors alike, video chat programs like Zoom could be preparing them for times beyond COVID-19.

"So now if we have something, you know, if there is a snow day or something and people have power we can do that if we have too," explained Dr. Mary Tucker-McLaughlin.

Because of individual situations, like students who work or live in different time zones, one-on-one meetings between professors and students have become even more time-consuming.

"It's also an increased work load for the professor, so if the professor isn't careful he or she will be working 24 hours a day," Dr. Brian Massey, a fellow professor, added.

As the pandemic helps prepare students for what is anything but a textbook situation.

"What are you going do if your software is out and you've got to produce the show? The news goes on regardless," Tucker-McLaughlin says.

She adds that ECU students have one more week of online learning before their exams begin.