Coronavirus Forces Universities Online

from Inside Higher Ed

After celebrating the Lunar New Year earlier this month, thousands of students at U.S. universities in China have resumed classes. But the campuses are eerily quiet, and classrooms remain empty. That’s because classes have moved online in the wake of the coronavirus.

The transition from face-to-face to fully online wasn’t one leaders at institutions such as Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai had planned for. Preparing to teach a course online for the first time usually takes several months. Faculty at institutions in China have done it in less than three weeks — a remarkable feat.

“It’s been highly stressful, but at the same time, the clarity of the crisis has brought us together,” said Clay Shirky, vice provost for educational technologies at NYU in New York, who was part of the team that helped colleagues at NYU Shanghai launch their courses online.

Faced with the decision to either close the Shanghai campus and suspend teaching indefinitely or try and keep students on track, leaders at NYU chose the latter, said Shirky. “It took us a while to realize that we really needed to move the semester online,” he said. “Looking back, I wish we had made the call a little earlier.”

Hopeful that students would be able to return to campus after the holidays, NYU Shanghai planned to reopen on Feb. 3. When travel restrictions were introduced, the semester’s start date was pushed to Feb. 10. Then the Chinese Ministry of Education ordered universities across the nation not to reopen their doors, leaving faculty with a tight deadline to move classes online.

More here.

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  1. With the Coronavirus rapidly spreading, many large organizations including universities, are starting to withdraw from their normal day to day activities to prevent as much human interaction as possible. Classes are being moved online and even spring break for schools are being extended, for example Rider University states, “We are extending spring break for an additional week through March 27”. Living in New Jersey and seeing all the colleges and universities adapting to new virus spreading, shows how the public is reacting and reveals the scope of the entire situation. Many schools are already suspending the rest of their semester to ensure the safety of their students and to keep in line with their values to keep communities safe. With people’s health being vulnerable, drastic measures are being taken such as canceling any form of gathering of people to prevent the further spread of this virus. With many corporate meetings cancelled and other important conferences being either postponed or terminated, a strong shift to technology has taken place. Every form of alternative for these gatherings are being held through the internet such as conference calls or webinars. Schools are pressured to continue the progress of their classes and now have to shift into online courses. A problem arises where teachers do not have the sufficient knowledge and resources to flip their entire schedules at such a short notice while maintaining the integrity of their lessons and still being effective to the students.

    I feel that a virus with such negative potential, these organizations are doing the right thing to keep their communities and the rest of the world safe. By taking these measures to limit human interactions and to provide the least risk to people, shows how conscious these decisions are. Companies are now following the standard procedures of the CDC such as, “Stay home, Avoid Public Areas, Avoid Public Transportation”(CDC.gov), to ensure the health of their employees and even customers. Looking at all these measures being done from these corporations will drastically reduce the spread of his virus and even cause a faster recovery for the world.

  2. The COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, is a serious problem. It started in China and now has spread rapidly all around the world. The coronavirus is a respiratory disease, according to the World Health Organization it is zoonotic, meaning it is transmitted between animals and people. The diseases has had many effects on things around the world like sports and even colleges, which is what this article talks about. It talks the effect it has had on college campuses. Universities, such as Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai, have transitioned from face-to-face classes to online classes. Our advancement and evolution with technology has come at a good time because this is a good way to prevent the spreading of the virus. Not only does this protect the students, but it also allows them to still progress in their class. Obviously the transition will not be smooth, there are big differences between in person and online. As a student, I can say that switching from in person to online classes will definitely be difficult. Learning in a classroom with other students is something I have done my whole life. Having individual conversations with my classmates and professors during class is something that always occurs naturally. With classes being online it is less likely that this will be able to happen. It will clearly by a difficult adjustment, I am sure I am not the only student that feels this way as well. Both the professors and students will have to adjust together to make the most of their class. Universities, here on U.S soil, have taken their own protective and safety measures. Rowan University and Montclair State University are examples of two universities here in New Jersey who have extended their spring breaks due to the spread of the coronavirus. Universities like ours, Seton Hall, and others have switched to online classes now or are preparing to do so after their spring break. The virus is not going to just magically disappear. It is already taking over and shutting down the entire world of sports every minute. We will have to do whatever we can to stay safe and make the necessary adjustments. Online classes is away of doing so; we are protecting our classmates and professors from any potential harm.

  3. Three months into 2020, the coronavirus has taken the world by storm. At first, I was not too worried about the situation. I myself was thinking that it would slow down in the near future. However, that does not seem to be the case. As of March 12, 2020, the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly on virtually each continent that people live on. The coronavirus is a fast-growing pandemic that has not only affected the lives of many, but now has the potential to impact my life seeing how it has made its way to the US. I found this article both interesting and alarming because of how much it relates to my current situation. Due to how fast the virus is spreading in the U.S., mass gatherings and social/sports events are being canceled or shutdown nationwide. In addition to those, schools are also being impacted. I am currently a senior at Rider University who may potentially have to take the remainder of my spring classes online because of the impact this virus has caused. As of now, our spring break has already been extended by one week, and we patiently await the decision to see whether we will return to campus after the break. Being a senior, this is something that I do not want to hear. I would prefer to enjoy my last semester on campus as opposed to being quarantined at home. Also, some classes are just not meant to be integrated as online classes, so this would make that specific class much harder to deal with. Overall, I hope the situations begins to deescalate very soon.

  4. This article discusses how the coronavirus has affected universities with Chinese branches across the United States. U.S. universities in China had resumed classes after the holiday, however the campuses were quiet and vacant. This is due to the wake of the coronavirus, which had forced universities to make quick decisions and plans to move classes online. The article states “preparing to teach a course online for the first time usually takes several months. Faculty at institutions in China have done it in less than three weeks.” It truly is remarkable how quickly these universities have made these changes, with the rapid advancements of the virus. However, this article was written back in February, and it may have only been less than a month ago, the virus had spread to several other countries, with thousands of cases. It has become a worldwide outbreak and epidemic. Now, not only are universities with ties to China switching to online, but other U.S. universities, entire townships, high schools, etc. are completely switching to online as well. For example, Rider initially extended our spring break an extra week, with no classes, so the university and the faculty can prepare to switch to online classes, as well as conduct deep cleaning. In their email, it states “we strongly encourage all resident students who are able to return home to do so and stay home until further notice.” And as of today, classes are scheduled to resume after the extended spring break will move to remote and alternative instruction beginning March 30 and will continue for at least two weeks, through April 10. In my opinion, it is crazy how fast universities and schools have adapted to the growth of this virus. Also, many college sports for the spring season has been cancelled, such as March Madness. There have also been suspensions on professional sports until a certain date and fans have been prohibited to attend these games. I understand that all of these situations are cautious measures, but I feel as though it is a bit extreme. The fact that I can’t go to Stop and Shop, or any other food store, to buy things such as a case of water, pasta, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer, because it is all sold out, is absurd. The coronavirus is now not only affecting schooling but it is negatively affecting the economy, businesses, and people have gone into a state of panic.

  5. The coronavirus has impacted different sectors, including education, our institutions, and protocols have been activated to prevent the spread of the virus. Many students no longer attend university due to the pandemic situation we are in, the aggravating factor is that the number will increase as the disease reaches more cities and countries.

    Although classes at universities have not yet been canceled in the country, several institutions have already taken preventive measures such as the cancellation of degree ceremonies and international travel, the suspension of massive academic events. They are also promoting the use of virtual tools, antibacterial dispensers, and covid-19 training. Seeking to prevent the coronavirus from limiting the academic activities of universities, several technology companies have announced that they can offer their services free to educational communities.

    Finally, several schools are already using virtual platforms to develop classes and assignments, but now the use of these tools will be deepened even more, as they will serve to make up the days of physical attendance for classes that will be lost in March.

  6. Universities in China are not the only institutions going online. Universities across the U.S. as well as younger educational institutions are also being placed online due to COVID-19. While moving online would seem like a great idea, students have to take control of their education and build a schedule that revolves around completing assignments rather than going to class. Students have to put in extra work to learn the material, which is not a bad thing but takes more time. Trying to learn any major without direct contact with a professor can be difficult, however due to advancements in technology students are able to have contact with professors more than ever.
    Students need to be mindful that not all professors and teachers are excellent at using technology. Some institutions are offering an extra week of spring break. This allows universities to help professors understand how to go online and teach a class ultimately. This can be challenging conditions professors have their lesson plans completed and expected to be teaching in class rather than online. So while students are making the adjustments to online classes, professors are too.
    With going online many students are hoping to change the grading from letter grading to pass or fail options. This should not be enforced. Students taking an online course should be putting in the same amount of effort as taking the class in person. Students can move at their own pace and get a letter grade that they earn based on that effort. Students should want to say they got a certain letter grade in a class rather than saying they passed the class. Saying you passed a class could mean you only completed assignments at average. Meanwhile some students could have put so much effort that they should have gotten an A but instead received passing. No matter the education, online or in person, we all need to gain something from our education to be successful in the future. We should be taking this time to put more effort into our education.

  7. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting universities all over the United States and even other countries. Due to how dangerous the virus is and how easily people are becoming infected from one another, universities in the U.S and all around the world have been taking action moving classes taking place during the spring semester to remote instruction online. Some students may feel as if moving classes to a remote online instruction may help them in many ways. Meanwhile, there are many students who feel as if online instruction may not help them in how now they need to make a schedule around when to complete assignments rather then having their normal set schedule of classes each day of the week. There are many pros and cons about both sides of students opinions weather it is them wanting online classes or not. For example, students may enjoy online classes as they are now home from college and can complete assignments whenever they feel is the appropriate time during their day to complete them. Currently, it is to the students advantage to have online instruction as most college students are quarantined inside their homes with their families as most of the country is currently shut down. On the other hand however, there are many students who do not enjoy the idea of online instruction. As mostly all faculty and professors know, every student learns in many different ways weather it is in person or online. Some students have mentioned how they have never taken an online class before and don’t know what to expect. This could be a huge learning curve for students who sign up for in person lectures rather then taking 5 to 6 classes over the computer. Different classes have a certain level of difficulty for each student. For instance, math courses such as statistics or accounting are known to be more difficult in person classes, so how would it benefit the student by having them take that math course online now? To add to the struggles that some students may have transferring to online instruction, it also puts a load of pressure on professors as some professors do not use the universities websites such as canvas. Personally, 3 out of my 6 courses I am currently taking have no instructions, grades, or files in canvas. My professors in those specific classes tend to not have the same experience or knowledge of technology then my other 3 professors seem to have. So how exactly are professors supposed to adapted to online instruction when they do not tend to use technology to teach their courses? There are many obstacles and challenges that are gonna go into universities switching the spring semester into mandatory online instruction, and I am very curious to see how it all turns out once the semester starts back up again.

  8. Nobody would have imagined the effect of this pandemic to be so severe that it causes most universities across the globe to move to online classes for the rest of the semester. It is very stressful for students and professors to move to online classes immediately and has taken its toll because many of us were not properly prepared for a virus like this to travel worldwide. Although this pandemic has had a series of horrible effects on our citizens, I agree with the article that this has brought us closer together to help one another persevere through this tragic time. The move to go online might have been a little delayed in some eyes but at the time we were not fully informed with the severity of what we are facing. After celebrating the Lunar New Year, China Universities have started to resume classes but these classes were expectedly very empty considering the success of maintaining social distancing and moving online. The Chinese Ministry of Education ordered universities across the nation not to reopen their doors which was a smart move in hindsight considering the rate of infection going through the roofs in the months of January/February. This online transition has gone more smoothly then expected especially in BLAW since we took the correct steps to educate one another in how to use platforms which ended up being very useful and time saving. Flight restrictions have posed many problems for students commuting from out of country and have essentially left some people stranded. Being more prepared for something like this will minimize these problems the next time problems like these arise. Technology has made this online transition more smooth because I could only imagine the effect this pandemic would have on universities in the past that didn’t have these alternatives options to learn and stay in touch through digital platforms. This new way of leaning has had positive feedback among most of my classmates and is an effective alternative that we have found. Participation is something that has thrived in the wake of the coronavirus. Being able to learn and maintain safety is very important in ensuring success and is the main goal of moving classes online.

  9. The impact of coronavirus or COVID-19 is being devastating worldwide. I think many people, myself included, thought that this new virus that everyone was talking about at the beginning of the year was not that important and was not going to be close to a pandemic. I thought this virus was going to be something like Ebola, bird flu or influenza A. Diseases that, although they have hit a large part of the population and are lethal, did not have the worldwide impact that COVID-19 is having. Currently, a large part of the world’s population is isolated in their homes due to the high contagious power of this virus. This has caused universities to close their campuses and switch all their classes to the online system. Reading the article dated 2/28/2020, we can see the optimism that was present as it mentions Hopeful that students would be able to return to campus after the holidays, NYU Shanghai planned to reopen on Feb. 3. As of today, 4/2/2020, we can see that unfortunately, we have not been able to return to classes after the holidays and have been forced to finish the rest of the semester online. Although it is a new and complicated measure, I think it was the best and only thing I could do since going back to school is not feasible today.

  10. Universities across the globe were severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. All the universities in the whole world have converted their in-person classes to fully online classes. Converting the classes to online classes was very challenging to students as well as professors. The Covid-19 has happened suddenly and in a very short period of time, which it didn’t give the professors enough time to adapt with the new system and the new online teaching techniques. Some of the professors weren’t trained enough on how to teach an online course. Professors needed a lot of training to get used to teach online instead of in class. In the New York Times article, Carey says, “it takes practice and skill to teach effectively at a distance.” Professors clearly didn’t have enough time to continue the semester teaching their students remotely. Some professors found it very challenging to teach their students online, so they just gave up, while the others were getting good at delivering the course contents to their students.
    Converting in person classes to online classes wasn’t only challenging for professors however, it was also challenging to students. Students had to quickly adapt to the new system that wasn’t an option but mandatory to them. Some students don’t like taking online classes, since they feel they can focus more when they are in class interacting with their professors in person and their classmates. In the New York Times, Carey says, “there’s a structure inherent to learning on campus, a rhythm and tangibility that keeps students connected to the academic community.” Those students were tough for them to go through the spring semester with the new online classes system. Carey also says, “It also takes practice to learn at a distance.” Students had a confusion between in person and online classes. They were facing challenges also because the professors weren’t trained enough to teach those students, so students sometimes had to teach themselves which was very tough for them. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has changed everything even universities teaching system. Both professors and students were forced to adapt to the new changes.
    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/02/25/coronavirus-forces-us-universities-online-china?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=43c58e35d2-DNU_2019_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-43c58e35d2-197583937&mc_cid=43c58e35d2&mc_eid=7f65c37354

  11. Universities across the globe were severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. All the universities in the whole world have converted their in-person classes to fully online classes. Converting the classes to online classes was very challenging to students as well as professors. The Covid-19 has happened suddenly and in a very short period of time, which it didn’t give the professors enough time to adapt with the new system and the new online teaching techniques. Some of the professors weren’t trained enough on how to teach an online course. Professors needed a lot of training to get used to teach online instead of in class. In the New York Times article, Carey says, “it takes practice and skill to teach effectively at a distance.” Professors clearly didn’t have enough time to continue the semester teaching their students remotely. Some professors found it very challenging to teach their students online, so they just gave up, while the others were getting good at delivering the course contents to their students.

    Converting in person classes to online classes wasn’t only challenging for professors however, it was also challenging to students. Students had to quickly adapt to the new system that wasn’t an option but mandatory to them. Some students don’t like taking online classes, since they feel they can focus more when they are in class interacting with their professors in person and their classmates. In the New York Times, Carey says, “there’s a structure inherent to learning on campus, a rhythm and tangibility that keeps students connected to the academic community.” Those students were tough for them to go through the spring semester with the new online classes system. Carey also says, “It also takes practice to learn at a distance.” Students had a confusion between in person and online classes. They were facing challenges also because the professors weren’t trained enough to teach those students, so students sometimes had to teach themselves which was very tough for them. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has changed everything even universities teaching system. Both professors and students were forced to adapt to the new changes.
    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/02/25/coronavirus-forces-us-universities-online-china?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=43c58e35d2-DNU_2019_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-43c58e35d2-197583937&mc_cid=43c58e35d2&mc_eid=7f65c37354

  12. COVID-19 has swept across the US since March and has flipped our daily life upside down. Life as a college student has been completely changed in regards to every aspect of being in college. No one could possibly have been prepared for the situation that we have been dropped into because the situation is very fluid and continues to change by the day. Students usually come into class knowing that the teacher has many years of experience teaching the course, but now teachers have to present their material using a completely new method. Also, some professors could be a lot less versed in technology which would present them with the task of learning how to use technology and also the task of learning how to present their material using technology. Given these hurdles that students and faculty have been faced with, in my experience both sides have prepared themselves very well and are able to adapt easily which is very important in these times.
    Universities and institutions are keeping the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff at their top priority because the last thing they want is for an outbreak to originate at their school. This has led to a lot of schools going completely online for another semester and the schools that allow some students to come back have tight restrictions, limited social interaction, and some have already had to send students home because of outbreaks. In my opinion, universities have had great response times and are able to adapt swiftly while keeping their students informed. This is not an easy time to make decisions that affect others and I feel that universities have taken the correct steps in order to still provide a quality education for students. This article is from February and it is interesting to see the wording and see how the plans that were in place and how they did not actually pan out. It also makes me wonder if in a couple months that we will be seeing the same thing about what articles are saying now.

  13. COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic has been not only a very sudden shock to the whole world but since March has really caused our lives to take a full 360. Overall, no matter what age you are COVID has had a negative effect on one aspect of your life. Speaking for myself, as a college student, as an employed worker, a babysitter, etc, everything has changed and taken a turn for the worse. Life as a college student has been completely changed in regard to every aspect of being in college. No matter who you ask there is not a doubt in my mind that this shocked almost every citizen of not only the United States, but of all the other countries that are being affected by this pandemic as well. For example, HyFlex learning is new to all of us, getting together with your class and your professor in an online environment can be very difficult. Many colleges allowed choices if you wanted to go in person, with obviously certain guidelines that you would have to follow, or you stay remote. I chose staying remote and personally some of my class I am watching the professor teach the people in the class and not focused on the people that are online, which takes away from my ability to learn. It takes time to adapt to these changes so I do think that with time things will get easier and everyone will be more comfortable in this type of learning environment.
    I agree that with this virus taking such a toll on the world so quickly it is very smart to ease into things and make sure to continue to take precautions to keep every from getting sick. People are making sure to take precaution in order to assure that this virus not only gets better, but make sure that it does not spread more and get worse. Although this article is mainly focused on the way that COVID has affected universities and colleges, it does not shy away from the fact that this virus has effected many other things as a whole such as, many peoples jobs were shut down so they had no source of income, that includes a loss of money for businesses and worldwide corporations. What I find very interesting is that this virus all started around March of 2020, which when schools shut down many thought it would just be an extended spring break and then things would go back to normal but looking back at how much things and planned have changed since March it is very important that we continue with protocols such as social distancing, limited social interaction, masks, etc. in order to make sure we are not speaking 5 months from now at a more negative place than we are right now.

  14. Corona Virus or COVID-19 has shaken the world and caused the death toll of more than 1.1 million worldwide so far. More than 39 million people have been confirmed with corona disease so far, and numbers continue to grow. Life is no longer the same since this pandemic has occurred at the beginning of this year. Since this disease is so contagious, it has forced people to practice social distancing. This pandemic has caused almost all of the schools and colleges in the world, including U.S. universities in China, to adopt remote learning, which was not easy to implement in such a short period. Nobody ever thought that we would be in this situation, and the coronavirus would spread so quickly. All schools and colleges were left with only two choices, either to suspend teaching indefinitely or adopt the remote learning environment. Since healthcare professionals announced that this disease would not go away quickly, closing the educational institutions for a long period was not a good idea, in my opinion. A sudden outbreak of corona disease did not give enough time to colleges to prepare for online classes, so it was not easy to launch online courses in such a short time.

    I believe the first and foremost thing to implement online classes or virtual learning is to have technical infrastructure in place. At the minimum, the basic technical infrastructure requires to have computers, high-speed internet, and video conferencing app such as zoom to be in place. Moreover, it is also vital for both professors and students to be well versed in this technology. For remote learning, both professors and students must have access to consistent and high-speed internet access. Since remote learning was a new concept, and professors and teachers across the world never thought that they would ever have to deliver online lectures, this posed a big challenge for them. They were feeling nervous and anxious as they were not prepared for this. The other challenge was professors and students were located in different time zones, but thankfully current advanced technology made that possible. This was initially very stressful, but professors did not give up and spent countless hours preparing for a remote learning environment. The availability of the latest technology and professors’ hard work has now paid off. Most of the colleges and universities across the world are now delivering online lectures effectively. My hats off to all the teachers who struggled but did not give up and continued education through an online learning environment in these extraordinary circumstances. They are no less than the medical professionals who are on the frontlines taking enormous risks to protect our lives!

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