On March 11th of 2020, I left a the end of my MBA project management class on the University of Missouri campus, and I have not been in a classroom since. The spring semester was a hail-Mary to continue the semester, with both students and professors rising to the challenge.
I was more prepared than most faculty since I ran a video conferencing business (Kaleidoscope Videoconferencing) before becoming a faculty member. I also researched co-authored Virtual Classrooms, an early book about using videoconferencing for distance learning (published in the mid-90s before Zoom was cool!).
We knew what to expect for the fall of 2020, and most faculty had worked hard over the summer to re-work their classes being all online. Some faculty (unfortunately) decided not to use zoom but just recorded lectures and posted tests online. This exposed some poor teaching practices, which some unfairly blamed on the online format. In my experience being online magnifies a teacher’s quality — good teachers can look better, poor teachers can look worse. The good news is that our university mandated that every faculty who was going to teach online had to take a course and be “certified” to teach online by the fall of 2021 and have their class undergo a quality review. I am currently taking a course from ACUE to meet this requirement.
I also used the time over the summer to upgraded my home studio and I teach all of my classes and make all my videos there: Tour below.
I try to have 70% to 100% of my classes via zoom (depends on the class’s subject matter and size). Many faculty do their “zooming” from the few “zoom capable” classrooms on campus, which allows them to have a small number of socially distanced students face-to-face. I record our zoom classes and post for students who can’t attend live.