Professor Nina Kohn: Come Fall, Universities Must Expand Vision
(Albany Times-Union | June 6, 2020) Universities and colleges across the country plan to offer fall semester classes online to accommodate students unwilling or unable to come to campus. Some have even decided to conduct all fall classes online.
Unfortunately, when universities moved classes online this spring in response to the novel coronavirus, education suffered. Faculty were confused about how to teach online, many classes had little interactivity and students were dissatisfied.
In addition, schools canceled most extracurricular events and activities, frustrating students and encouraging a tidal wave of petitions and lawsuits demanding refunds of spring tuition and fees.
If universities want students to accept online education as a substitute for on-campus learning, they must do better come fall. This will require investing in teaching-oriented training for faculty. During spring semester, universities typically provided faculty with training and support to help them navigate learning management systems and videoconferencing software. Now they must train faculty not simply how to teach online, but to teach well online ...