Did you know that faculty can keep online courses inviting and full of excitement, just like on-campus courses? Over the last two years, Virginia’s community college faculty have discovered the advantages of online learning. Meet a few of those innovators:
Sheila Betz, an accounting professor and program head at Reynolds Community College, discovered the power of Zooming outside of the classroom to support students:
“For my students who were used to having face-to-face interactions, that meant optional Zoom sessions where we could meet one-on-one to work out problems or the coursework together.”
Anna Balog, a geology instructor at Virginia Western Community College, started making her own lab kits so students could complete their laboratory assignments at home:
“These kits help to make learning more affordable because my students don’t have to purchase lab manuals and textbooks.”
Linda Wilborne, associate professor of business management at Danville Community College, is working hard to ensure her students get the same instruction and learning experience online as they would in the classroom:
“With Zoom, students can jump in to ask questions and interact with each other – just as if you’re sitting in the classroom. I’m even planning to break students off into groups so they can interact and talk to each other during upcoming classes.”
Jerome Strum taught in-person graphic design and photography courses as an adjunct professor at Blue Ridge Community College. And, like his students, he had to think differently about online education during the pandemic; adapting course work and providing equipment and software like Photoshop and InDesign were essential to helping future graphic designers:
“One thing about graphic design, and the industry as a whole, is that you’re having to keep up with ever changing technology and trends. The software and how we work with it changes almost every six months and now uses tablets, laptops and even smartphones. Teaching students to adapt now will only better prepare them for their career.”
Transitioning courses into an online mode has come with innovative opportunities, which results in instructors and students alike enjoying the benefits of remote learning. Our colleges have been able to expand program and course offerings online using the strategies and resources they’ve honed during the pandemic. Now is the time to get started on an online degree or certificate.
Explore what your local college has to offer by heading to our college locator and clicking on your college’s online landing page. You can follow us for news and more student services stories on Twitter and Facebook (@getonlineVA).