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It’s 2:00 p.m. I haven’t showered yet.


A faculty member's perspective as Stritch moved to online classes

March 24, 2020

by Dr. Barbara J. Spies, professor of communication

It’s 2:00 p.m. I haven’t showered yet.

I’ve spent the morning reading student discussion posts, grading papers, responding to emails, and tracking down my international students to see if they have arrived home safely. Most of my students have settled into the new “normal.” They’ve used our learning management system, Canvas, for their classes to turn in assignments and get feedback. But, most have not taken a fully online course. Now ALL of their courses are fully online. I seek honest feedback on how we can do this well and what is reasonable to expect.

Having everybody communicate at the same time through our handy conference option is something I have chosen not to do as a required part of my courses. I might schedule a time for us to do that to just check in on each other. But, our lives are very different now. Some students work in essential areas, like grocery stores, pharmacies and nursing care. Their hours have increased. Some are home with younger siblings or with their own children and have a hard time finding uninterrupted time. But, with understanding, flexibility, and kindness toward each other, we are all getting through!

My Advanced Public Speaking class posted practice speeches to a discussion board online. I’m working to make sure they all feel comfortable enough with the technology before the larger speech assignment happens. They have posted some great things!

As a whole, we are all adapting. It may not be perfect. It is definitely not how we expected the semester to go. But, everyone is working together to make it!