Drs. Mercer and Behrens discuss their experiences as educators adjusting to virtual classrooms during the spring 2020 semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the article, they consider challenges faced by faculty members and students alike, ranging from technological obstacles to psychological symptoms. Specific reflections included the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS), designing assignments, grades, and engagement with students through Zoom. Lessons learned from these obstacles indicated ways to maximize student education in a virtual environment.
From the abstract:
Having been able to reflect on this change over the course of six months, we as educators both discovered that virtual teaching—ironically—allowed us a better view of how the students themselves were learning in (and coping with) this new format … As we head into another semester of virtual teaching, and hope for more face-to-face interactions in the future, we are learning to see teaching overall in a new way, one that is more universally accessible and of benefit to all students.
Now in our fall semester, Marymount Manhattan has adopted a Virtual Classes/Open Campus Model for Fall 2020 that employs online classes that remain small and immersive. The model additionally allows students to reserve space on campus for study, practice, and access the many resources the College has to offer.
This article marks the second time Dr. Behrens has been published this year, whose research was included in the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching this past August.
Congratulations Dr. Mercer and Dr. Behrens!