“This pandemic has helped me realize the importance of cherishing the finer things in life and to not take anything for granted because at any moment it can be taken away,” said Sophomore student Paolina Clement.
Ever since mid-March the world as we seem to know it to be suddenly took a left turn for the worse as news broke out of the coronavirus that took our nation by storm causing schools and businesses nationwide to shut down.
College institutions like Broward College quickly made adjustments in regard to continuing classes during the spring semester for students and faculty and decided to continue with remote learning for the fall 2020 semester.
Broward College leaders and administration decided to move classes remotely due to social distancing guidelines to prevent the spreading of the virus where at the beginning it was a quite challenging adjustment.
“As an Associate Dean, I was challenged, as were all the academic leaders, faculty and staff at the college, to quickly transform our face-to-face courses into a remote learning format,” said Professor Geraldine Klonarides.
All faculty members had to undergo training to understand the technical aspect for the newly remote system in efforts to continue teaching students the necessary materials for the class as smoothly as possible.
BC viewed this remote system to end the spring semester as a trial run if quarantining would be a norm in our society and the results were positive overall.
“The good news out of all of this is that the college has reported the success rate of students this past spring term was higher than the success rates of students last spring,” Klonarides continued.
In the beginning of the summer term, there were some students who had some experience with the remote learning but still many who didn’t know what this new environment would look like.
“At first I was a little skeptical on how this new remote learning system would play out because I never took any sort of online class before,” said Communications Major Jonathon Ramirez.
Naturally, online classes cost less than on campus courses however, there has been some push back by some students saying that BC should lower the prices of classes since they believe the remote and online classes have similarities.
“When I heard about the college changing to virtual learning my first thought I was afraid it was going to be like online classes that I have taken in the past,” said Clement.
Although other state institutions like the University of Florida has decreased their tuition cost, BC offers a fairly affordable tuition to students compared to others.
College Provost Dr. Marielena DeSanctis has consistently urged and informed all students the difference between online and remote learning and why the cost of classes will remain the same.
“The two concepts are totally different from one another. As an institution we require our remote learning courses to have more of an interaction with fellow student Seahawks and professors,” DeSanctis said.
Online classes differ from remote learning courses based on the limited to no real time interactions with other students and the instructor.
On the other hand, remote courses are mimicking the experience a student may have received in a face-to-face course where the faculty member and student are meeting at the same time in a virtual environment.
“Classes that are held online are designed for students to follow deadlines for assignments on D2L by the professor and it’s the student’s responsibility to learn the material and complete it on their own time,” said DeSanctis.
Also, the immense effort from administration to help make the Blackboard experience like clockwork for the students has resonated with them.
“This is totally not like any online class I’ve taken before. It’s just like a regular course but on my computer,” said Clement. “I enjoyed talking to my classmates and I could easily ask questions I may have about an assignment because it’s a real time conversation.”
As the summer term is coming to an end, students are finally accepting and adapting to the fact that face-to-face classes may not be in the near future as Florida continues being a hot spot for the coronavirus in this nation.
Provost DeSanctis noted students made over 2,700 online tutoring appointments through the Academic Success Centers and Student Services was able to virtually assist over 5,000 students.
Also, many textbook publishers made some of their resources freely available to students.
“Under the inspirational leadership of President Haile and his executive leadership team, students, faculty, staff and administration united with a common mission and goal,” said Klonarides.
If any degree-seeking students need a loaner laptop or webcam for the fall, please email email@example.com