Faculty Adjust to Remote Teaching

Carlos Argueta

It has been a month since Manchester moved all classes online due to COVID-19, and the faculty had the task of adapting their usual in-class lesson plans to an online access approach. With the move to online teaching, many departments had the uphill battle of converting classes that are more hands-on to a simpler online version.

Although there had been setbacks to moving classes online due to technical issues, scheduling, and communication, most professors were able to restart their courses right after spring break. The difficulty and complications of moving classes online varied throughout the academic departments.

However, professors agree that the move to online education was the best one for the students and the university.

“I have some experience teaching online during the summer sessions at Manchester, but it is not my preferred way of teaching,” said Dr. Kim Duchane, professor of exercise science and athletic training. “Although it is not my preferred way of teaching, we only have a few weeks left, and I think we have the ability to help the students to finish the year strong.”

The decision move to online was a difficult one, but many professors across the university were very pleased with the results. “I am very happy with the way the communications department was able to transition to online teaching,” said Dr. Gabriela Morales, assistant professor of health communication. “I think the department is very much on top of everything, with so much going on.”

While most class assignments are now online, many events did not make a move online and instead have been canceled for the rest of the semester. This is because an online version of the event is not possible.

“Many colleagues and I had planned for face-to-face classes, and we had all sorts of activities going on, but unfortunately, due to these circumstances, we were not able to do them,” Morales said.

Now that students and professors are more settled in at home,, the faculty’s main focus is to stay connected with their students.. "It has been challenging trying to connect with all my students," Morales said, "But fortunately, for the majority of my students, I have had a successful connection at different levels."

Not only does the faculty want a strong communication line with the student body for classes, but they want to make sure that students are staying safe. Faculty at the university are trying to be a support line for students if they need help with anything, or if they are having a tough time during this pandemic.

"The first thing I decided to do was to create a weekly highlights page to check on my students and to see how they are doing, and to provide some motivation to reinforce that everything is going to be OK,” Duchane said.