Classes are creatively responding to the closure of clinics, labs, studios and equipment checkout, which suspended operations on March 13.
Department of Radio-Television-Film lecturer David Schneider teaches a course titled “Multi-Camera Television Directing” that traditionally uses Studio 4B in CMB to learn the production of television programs, including the use of a multicamera format. Schneider said the change in curriculum will affect about 60 percent of how he planned to evaluate students and class assignments.
“I describe the situation for me like being a basketball coach whose team is communicating in different rooms, has no gym and no basketball,” Schneider said. “The lecture part will be pretty straightforward to complete online, but the lab section will call for creative measures.”
Schneider said he plans to alter subject material by using open source broadcast software that allows for downloading versions of a video switcher, critiquing the work of others in case studies and observing how many traditional format television shows such as “The Today Show” have pivoted and are broadcasting from the homes of hosts with little studio involvement.
In addition, changes in policy will be necessary as resources of the university change due to the demands of online learning. Wifi connections, worldwide internet traffic, availability and sharing of devices among other issues complicate the virtual learning environment.
The Office of the Provost has recommended instructors limit live teaching to no more than 30 minutes for each three-hour course session.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Assistant Professor Rosemary A. Lester-Smith teaches a graduate speech-language pathology class titled “Voice Disorders” that typically involves case-based discussions and hands-on activities.
“I’m thinking of ways to reduce the demands of synchronous (live) interactions by posting videos of case examples and demos on Canvas and using Canvas Discussion and Canvas Chat,” Lester-Smith said. “The department, college and university response has been very supportive on how to navigate this so we can adapt.”
With many faculty and staff working around the clock in the preparation and launch of an unprecedented learning environment, the expectation is that everyone at Moody College will be affected.
“I expect instructors will start working their plan next week and have hiccups. Everyone needs to be flexible and agile and willing to pivot if something is not working to ensure students have every opportunity to engage with content, their instructors and fellow students,” Crawford said. “Students are anxious and feel isolated and stressed by financial and other pressures, but there’s still a lot they can learn this way."
“In fact, they might be exposed to a wider range of potential challenges and solutions.”