COVID-19 Has Thrust Universities Into Online Learning?—How Should They Adapt?

from Brookings

There is one golden rule for flying with an infant or toddler: Do whatever it takes to get through the flight peacefully with no harm done. Every parent knows this means relaxing their standards. Planting your kid in front of an iPad screen or giving them not so healthy treats might not win you a “parent of the year” award, but it’s what is needed in the moment.

In like fashion, much of the global higher education community is suddenly thrust into an unplanned, unwanted, and fraught experiment in online learning with the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of those participating—institutions of higher education (IHEs), faculty members, and students?—it’s not what they want, but it’s what they are stuck doing through the end of this academic year. How should they proceed?

As president of Southern New Hampshire University, which had a large online learning presence even prior to COVID-19, I offer four guiding rules.

More here.

Posted in Education, Technology and tagged , , , , .

63 Comments

  1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rider University, like almost every other university, has resorted to remote learning. I remember when it was first mentioned, everybody thought it would be all easy A’s. However, I feel as if the remote learning has not changed anything for me, I still have to attend class, submit assignments, and take exams, but I can do all of that from the comfort of my own home, which I like. However, some of my professors have become more lenient and understanding during this time and are accommodating to student’s needs.
    I think the guiding rules that the president of southern New Hampshire offers can e very helpful during these tough times. Whenever I find it difficult to attend a class or do an assignment, I just tell myself that it will al be over soon enough, like one of the rules. I have also told myself that I should prepare if the virus continues to spread across the nation that there is a possibility that the remote learning may have to continue into next academic year, which I hope does not happen, but at the same time every one must be prepared for it.

  2. Due the the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has caused nothing but problems and forced change among all levels of education especially for college universities around the country. For some students, the change into remote learning has been challenging but for others it seems as if it is a breeze to them due to the difficulty in classes that they are taking currently. In the article, it talks about different rules and scenarios that should be taken into consideration as all educational platforms especially universities transition into remote online learning. Some rules listed in the article go from how to get through the phase of whats going on in the world today to how the students matter most to what exactly the plan is going to be for these schools and universities in the long haul. There are many challenges that come along with the adaptation of remote online learning. For example, some students and even professors for that matter have never learned and or taught from an online perspective rather then a face to face setting. Some students find it challenging to learn and complete assignments through an online setting rather then in in person setting. That being said, most professors and teachers are experiencing the same issues as they are not used to teaching their students from an online platform rather then having face to face lectures in a classroom. Due to the challenges that the remote learning is causing professors and students around the country, I personally feel as if all universities should give a pass/fail option to each of there students enrolled. Students who did not sign up to learn remotely online that are now forced to due to the spread of the coronavirus should not have an impact on their GPA’s because of the way they are learning or the way their professors are going about teaching the course. The main priority is for universities and schools around the country is to put their students first and help them out in whatever way they can during these difficult times. Making pass/fail an option for students to take part in is a great way in universities putting their students first and also puts less stress on professors to make sure their students understand the material.

  3. Learning remotely has definitely impacted not only students, but also the professors who had to quickly adjust to make their courses completely online. Some of my professors have went to Zoom while others are using canvas conference to continuously meet with students. One of my professors has decided not to continue to meet with students but instead is posting videos of her lectures for students to watch on their own time. While some students are enjoying learning online as it was supposed to be easier, I found that there are challenges to learning remotely. Some of my classes are challenging and I think that it would have been better to learn from a classroom. It is hard to stay focused while learning in your own house because there are so many distractions. There really is nothing stopping students from just muting their computers, turning off the screens and taking a nap or watching tv.

    This is obviously a period of adjustment for everyone but I feel like students are suffering from this the most. A lot of professors are not the most technologically advanced people and a lot of are just dumping more work on students. It is also more challenging to get ahold of professors when questions arise. I understand that this is a different time for everyone but I feel like the majority of work is falling on the students. Students have to learn on their own for the most part and there are issues with that. Trying to learn something like accounting theory two is pretty challenging and then add on learning on your own, it makes it really hard to understand everything. Professors and schools were clearly not prepared to go remote and I wonder if schools will put plans in place that will make the transition to remote learning easier in the future.

  4. COVID-19 has changed the way students learn , and not in a positive way . At first , I assumed that taking classes online in my own home would be great , but that is not the case. As stated in the article , students do matter most during this troubling time. Teachers are unaware of what students are going through during this time, while some teachers are very helpful and understanding , others tend to continue to pile on more work then we can bear. Although we can get adapted to this kind of learning, it can take us months to fully understand it because we were not well prepared for it. Students have many distractions within their homes versus when they are in a class setting , away from distractions. Free time was not as available as it is now , causing us students to lose focus. I feel that us getting used to a remote learning will not later rather than now.

  5. At a time where many students are being pushed online, I believe it is important to read this article to not only help the students out in the process but the teachers and professors. For the students, it is important as the article says to do what you need to do and to prepare for the long haul. I know as a full time working student myself, mental health is the most important to maintain on. For those looking for help, I found planning out my week ahead of time since there is a lot of work to be done helps out a lot. The point and reference to the MVP model is an important addition to this calendar idea because you need to pick and choose what is most important, while not dwelling on it too much adding more unnecessary stress. For professors, I believe the most important portion to read is that the students matter most. With not having one on one conversations and places to be, schooling gets even harder (which for many students is already hard enough). Many professors from my experience expect the students to understand exactly what they are trying to say without explaining and breaking into detail. This does not work and many students do not do well because they are not led. With not being led and now given five times the amount of work, it makes it impossible for the students to learn. Now I have seen students including myself using online homework answer sites to solve questions without learning the topic because there is no true help. These professors who are getting paid from our overpriced tuition expenses need to step up and be the leading roles because we students see that big dollar price tag going to waste. But as many of us see it, teachers can not tend to do that in the classroom so why would that change online. Teachers and professors need to use this as a learning experience because this pandemic truly opens up the issues that students have daily. Now they are just broadened and made worse with what is going on throughout our society. Even after all that was said, I still believe it is important for us students to thank the professors because what they do is not easy and there are many teachers out there that are doing everything they can and to remember that they too might also need an emotional hand. Just remember that you are not alone.

  6. The pandemic of COVID-19 made Rider move all classes to remote learning just as many other universities. When starting my first day of remote learning, I was nervous that it will be harder than face to face class. But at the end of the first week, I was used to it and it is like taking a class online which I have before. The five rules mentioned in the article, is something I learned after the first week. Many of my teachers would send me a bunch of emails for reminders of assignments or just to check up on us if they see us falling behind in assignments. It is refreshing to see because hard times like these, help many people come together as one. The article makes me feel as though I am not alone struggling with remote learning. But I learned that remote learning is no different than actually attending a class. I have to do homework, projects and exams all online for all of my classes. I am also content that the article mentioned mental health especially for students. Mental health is very important because we are all uncertain when we will be able to go out or stressed out from all these online classes. But everyone should check on one another, as mentioned in the article because not everyone is having an easy time at home.

  7. The world pandemic, coronavirus, has impacted businesses, universities, and everyday life tremendously. Schools have been forced to switch in-person classes to online classes. This is a big change, for many students. Taking online classes is different and more independent. As a college student, the switch to online classes has not been a big change for me. I have taken online college classes prior to this pandemic, therefore I am comfortable and experienced with online learning. However, this pandemic is affecting every school level grade, including my sister, who is a freshman in high school. For high schools, adjusting to the switch from middle school to high school, and have never had online classes before, aren’t comfortable with online classes. Students need to stay motivated and adapt to online learning to finish the school year. This article gave great tips on how to adapt to online learning.
    I agree that in this situation, the students matter most. Students may not be comfortable with a more independent style of learning, and have had no experience with taking classes at home. Especially during this pandemic, you never know what a student is going through. Times like these often causes anxiety and depression in students, teachers need to be flexible and understanding for the students. The article also mentions to plan for the unexpected. Who knows how long this pandemic is going to last, and when it will be safe again. Schools need to plan for long-term, and not be so sure that they will be returning to school. Most colleges have canceled classes for the rest of the semester, but many K-12 schools are planning to return to school in May. I believe that it is important for all of us to be united and supportive of one another while we get through this tough time.

  8. There is one universal truth; the current circumstances is definitely not ideal. It ranges from parents being laid off and businesses officially shutting down because they can’t afford their monthly expenses, to our loved one being personally affected by the current pandemic. It is a world that our generation has never experienced, a world where millions of students don’t remotely recognize. To make matters worse, it is a world where the the foreseeable end is unclear. Thousands, if not, millions of people struggling to keep up-float but it isn’t easy. Among the other added pressures and stresses of the pandemic, students are also shoved into a realm that may be unfamiliar to many of us, distant learning. While we all know it is necessary, it still does not change the anxiety and depressive state that many are battling through. For these reasons, I think it is extremely important that the four guiding rules provided by this article are followed. That said, perhaps the most important rule that I strongly relate to is to “prepare for the long haul”.

    As it mentions in the article, we can only hope for our country to look more like China or South Korea, however, we must prepare for the worse. It is highly likely that the current pandemic will persist and even affect the next academic year in the fall. And if this truth is realized, it is important that not only students and parents, but also professors and teachers arrange and develop a new systems that will perform better. Due to the fact that we all had to rapidly scramble to move to remote learning, it wasn’t structured in a way that does not overwhelm the students. Personally, I can testify that the the lack of structure has added more of a workload that often leaves me feeling stressed, angry, and depressed. I wake up every morning and begin and end my day with school work. I am now left to teach myself the materials which becomes quite frustrating. It is important that administrators and instructors prepare a more efficient way to administer remote learning in order to ensure the success and well-being of the students.

  9. With the Coronavirus pandemic taking the country by storm, Universities have been forced to move with online classes for the remainder of the year. Covid-19 has made Universities take an unwanted position and as best put by LeBlanc are “suddenly thrust into an unplanned, unwanted, and fraught experiment in online learning”. Nobody wanted to make the change to go online for the rest of the semester but that was out of their control and now this is what faculty, staff and students are now doing. Southern New Hampshire University who has major experience with online classes even before Covid -19 had four guiding rules from their president. Rule #1 was “Do whatever it takes to get through this phase”; Universities should be doing their very best to teach their students virtually and do whatever is needed to help the students. All universities need to be all hands on deck and we are all on one team trying to get through this time together. The second rule was “Students Matter Most”. Students are not just put into a difficult situation when having to leave college and all their friends but may have other problems on their plate. Their parents could have lost their job, or a parent is sick from the disease or even they feel less safe at home than a university. Students are going through alot right now and need all the support they can from their school even if it’s being done remotely. The third guideline from the president is “Plan for the Long Haul”, meaning there is an unfortunate chance that schools may not even open up this fall. Universities need to plan for various situations and be ready to handle any scenario that is thrown at them. Teachers need to adapt to the scenario and figure out the best ways to engage and interact with their students even if it’s not face to face. One great point made by LeBlanc was “Institutions need to plan right now for that possibility and start developing the kind of high-quality, student-centered online programs that are now the standard among good providers. That’s a complex undertaking with many moving parts, and it has to be done in a few short months. There isn’t a day to waste”. The last guideline was “Mine your own Resources”. Use the people and resources you have, there should be no disagreements within Universities. There needs to be one goal in mind and everybody needs to contribute to make the University run as smooth as possible. People who understand and know how to use the technology need to take the lead and give their insight on how the University can improve in certain areas.

    I really liked what Vin said about “ I think that all universities should make it pass/fail for the semester because students GPA’s are going to be affected by something that was outside of their control”. Some students have trouble learning course material online and this can be an issue for many people across the country. Students may not adapt to a screen the way they might sitting in an actual room with a professor. Students or teachers are put into an easy spot at this time and everybody needs to be on the same page to get through this time. Making classes pass/ fail can help students as they won’t be penalized for not having their best foot forward when taking an online class that they never wanted to take online originally.

  10. The pandemic of COVID-19 has spread panic worldwide, making billions of people needing to adjust to the new ways of living under social distancing. The virus hit the United States at one of the worst times the country could have, especially for students. Mid-term weeks were closing in, followed by a week-long Spring Break, with thousands of students looking to go down south to relieve stress from school, winter sports were in their conference championships, and spring sports were about to kick off the start of their seasons. After much discussion schools and universities nationwide decided to shut down, and made the rest of the springs curriculum online. This is a major benefit to students who know a lot about technology, but the teaching methods for online classes hurt the overall learning of the classes students are taking. COVID-19 will hopefully begin to slow down soon, and it is essential for students to keep moving forward with their learning during the pandemic. As the article states, “STUDENTS MATTER MOST”, schools and universities need to do everything they can to ensure that their students are going to be fine. Communication is the biggest and most essential aspect students need. If there is no communication, students won’t know what they need to do, what their grades are, how they can get in contact with the school or professors, what they can or can’t use during homework, tests, quizzes, and projects. Students learning the rest of the course on their own are going to struggle in the future, especially if the classes they are currently taking revolve around their major and future career.
    With modern day technology being in full affect for online classes, professors need to do several tasks to ensure their students are learning the full curriculum of the class. It is essential professors and teachers make up their own problems because of certain online textbook help. There are certain websites on the internet that have answers from every textbook that students can get without doing any of the work. If a student is struggling with a problem, they are going to use the benefits of being at home and online. With these websites that give them the answers, they are going to think of their grades. Grades is all many students care about, and when they aren’t properly learning the material online, they are going to do whatever it takes for them to get the A they so desperately desire.

  11. Due to the coronavirus students have had to transfer all of their in-class/in-person lectures, assignments, learning abilities to online. This has made a dramatic impact on the way that students learn the material they need to succeed. All age groups from kindergarten to college have had to adapt to the new changes that the coronavirus has given them. Many different levels have had to dive into unplanned and unwanted structures of learning. In this article, they outline different rules on how to adapt to the change. The first rule they offer is to do whatever it takes to get through this phase, which analyzes the idea of doing everything in the best way possible to make sure that students are still learning and developing even throughout the pandemic. Schools have had to put all of their resources and curriculum online to make sure the structure they offered in person is still offered. Even at Rider, they have offered many different platforms and resources for students to still engage even if they are not on campus. The second rule is to put the students first no matter what happens. Even without the pandemic mental illness is rampant among university students. It can sometimes be difficult for some students to adapt to different things and they want to make sure that the students have the same structure they would in the classroom. If universities are still offering the same research they were on campus you can make the students feel more comfortable with the online learning structure. Checking in on the students to make sure they are healthy and safe is another important thing during this process especially for the university as you are implementing more than what is normally given. Making sure that the students have the resources and structure they need to succeed is important through this time. Giving students the support of accountability and providing them with the resources they need to succeed in an online environment is important in making sure that students are still learning and developing. Offering students the same interaction that they were in the classroom is critical during this period and making sure that they are keeping up with their mental state but also their families’ health. Another important rule which many businesses and schools have followed is to plan for a long-term situation. In hopes that this doesn’t continue out into the summer schools have had to prepare to make sure they are abiding by the rules and adhering to the regulations. The last rule offered in this article is to mind your own resources, making sure to utilize those people who have experience in this field. Even if this isn’t the same structure that students went to school for, making it as natural as possible ensures that students are still getting the same education that they are paying for. Given that no one knows the length of the restrictions, preparing for the worst is what can help out universities and students during this time.

  12. The article hits a lot of points that I think need to be focused on in the world we are living in today. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world, all colleges and universities have moved to remote learning, converting in-person courses into online classes. I think the article points out the difficulties that a number of groups are dealing with. Professors who have never taught online courses now have to reevaluate their syllabus, plan out discussion boards to replace the theme of in class discussions, and grade assignments without seeing their students’ effort to get better or their struggle. As students, we are doing our best to manage to have a change in our schedule from one to no online classes to all online courses. The workload is overwhelming for some students, myself included, and it is not the same taking online classes from home then it would be from going to class on campus. What I think professors don’t think about or don’t consider as much as they should is the fact that students don’t have a classwork friendly atmosphere. Some of us live in a place where it is very hard to concentrate and therefore the workload seems very intense. I think the article points out that universities should be more vigilant on the students and provide adequate resources for them to study and emotional support. In addition, I think it is smart that universities look out for the future because we do not know when this will all be over, so this is something we must prepare the worst for. In the business world, we will see a recession and many will lose their jobs, but this is something that can’t be dealt with until the pandemic is “resolved”.

  13. With most – if not all – universities across the nation moving to online remote learning, there was almost a definite difficult transition that would be needed to proceed with classes. I believe this article is informative to students, teaching staff, and also parent/guardians of students that are concerned of the way their kids are still getting their education appropriately. I very much enjoyed reading the president of Southern New Hampshire University’s perspective on the subject, and was able to offer great advice to other universities and staff on what should be most important. As outlined in the article, I think it is important to make it as easy as possible for all parties involved. In already a very stressful situation, I agree that it is best to do whatever is best to get through the course without much trouble. It actually does transition well into the next step, making sure students are doing well outside the online classes as well. “In the U.S, and around much of the world, anxiety and depression are rampant among university students. We’ve just added the existential threat of a pandemic and the looming threat of a global economic meltdown to their worries.” I think it was important to add this part because this is where it really hits you of what is going on. Many student’s family’s are suffering due to job losses and scarcity of money laying around to provide for everyone. If we all make students feel valuable and ask how they are doing at this time, it could really help their self esteem.

    It is important for staff and universities to be leaders during this pandemic. I think the article did a great job in explaining why and how they need to progress during this difficult time. Some students are better visual learners as opposed to virtual learners, so it is crucial that every student is being taught appropriately during this pandemic from home.

  14. As a student at Rider University, I’ve been participating in remote learning along with other students and schools. When the COVID-19 pandemic was first announced, Rider had decided to switch at school learning to online learning. I view this change as a positive one. I can still learn and work for my degree in the comfort of my own home. I’m fine with attending class and completing assignments and such as long as we beat this virus. Remote learning is very convenient for me and gives me something to do as well as of now in New Jersey parks and recreational areas are closed and you can only leave your house with a face mask. The guiding rules that the president of southern New Hampshire offers can seem helpful. Personally, I can’t even enjoy my favorite hobbies. Gyms are closed all over the nation and parks are closed so I cannot play soccer. On the plus side, I can still be with my family more often.

  15. This pandemic has been hard on everybody, especially on the students who attend a university. The sudden close of most schools have caused confusion among not only the students but the staff of these universities also. The sudden shift into an all online semester has also been a difficult transition because of many factors. For one, many professors are not trained to teach a class fully online to a multitude of students. Some professors did not use any online materials before the pandemic. This has led to a trend of replacing lectures with work. Since we are no longer meeting physically for class, professors have given a lot of work to the students to substitute for physical lecture. This is obviously not the correct route to take as students are now not learning anything while being bombarded with so much work that is hard to keep up with. This only adds to the stresses of being forced to stay home during this pandemic. Luckily, schools have adopted a pass/no credit policy in order to combat an inevitable drop in grades. But this does not prevent the lack of proper education that students are receiving yet are still paying for. Some universities have been nice enough to refund students for housing since they are no longer staying on campus however.

  16. My school rider university has been forced to move to online classes like many other universities. We have proceeded to use the zoom software to help with video classes from home however many professors as well as students can find it hard to adapt to his changes. Many students that are at Rider university come from places around the world and around the country. Classes are continuing to be run in their schedule as they were in person so if I had an in person class at 2:50, now I have to log into zoom at that exact time. Since students come from around the country and world they can find it difficult to meet these hours requirements. There are also those students who are also unable to leave the country to go back home and are left to either reside on campus or look to go with friends. Many other students are also experiencing that there is more work to be done through this process having professors assign multiple assignments for the week that is an increase in the workload. The increase in workload is coming to stress on some specially those who still during this quarantine still have to go to work.
    This process would only improve by the cooperation between students and professors. Students and professors must discuss and always be open for any change that can be made to improve the meetings through zoom. It would also come to no surprise if those would take advantage of this situation which could result in corrupting the overall reason for remote learning. Also students and professors have to overcome the adversity of adapting to the system and creating meetings that allow for the same learning environment as a classroom. Many schools also extended their spring breaks which caused many syllabus to be changed to deliver the overall objectives of the class.

  17. This article offers a short set of rules that should help universities get through online learning. The issue at hand is many places of business and education were not fully set up for the quick turn-around of remote working. I have seen firsthand how businesses have had to deal with VPN issues, incompatibility with software and other IT problems while dealing with the global pandemic. The rule of doing “whatever it takes to get through this phase,” is a good one. I think as a society we forget that people are multi-dimensional. We are not just a co-worker, student, boss or parent. We are all these things at once or mixed with other things. Higher education needs to keep this in mind when concentrating on the most important asset to education everywhere, students and staff. Students are dealing with a lot during this time and it would be a misstep to continue on with the same idea of curriculum as if a global pandemic and economic recession were not real.

    I agree with planning for the long haul and figuring out resources in a quick manner. There is no guide for a pandemic. There is no guide for an economic recession. And there certainly is not a set of guidelines for both happening at the same time. We are in survival mode. As are all businesses and educational institutions as well. The best we can do during this time is adapt and do it quickly. If things need to be tweaked a week or two later, that is fine. At least the groundwork is there. The thing to do now is to be resilient and deal with situations as they come. Everyone is dealing with different responsibilities and it would be hard to produce a blanket statement for all students and staff. Some universities may not have all the resources needed to provide to their students. Others may feel more prepared for this situation than others. It is important to look at this as we are all in this together and fighting the same enemy. It would be beneficial for all universities to provide support for students while helping other institutions get back on track.

  18. I do not want people to take this in the wrong way but in a way this pandemic may be beneficial when it comes to serving as a wake-up call to the world. First it shows that nobody was really prepared for such a pandemic, we live our lives without the thought of such a thing ever happening. I guarantee that most people never thought that something like this would happen during their lifetime but coincidently it did. More specifically I think it was a wake-up call for a lot of the universities that did not give much attention to their online plan. A majority of school do = have online programs but those are usually for specific courses and they have professors who have been specifically trained to handle the online courses. But this pandemic has forced a lot of schools to have all their classes online which does not seem like that much of a hurdle for teaches who have already been utilizing online resources. The article talks about planning for the long run which needs to be considered in this situation because we are not going back to our normal lives anytime soon so first schools should figure out how they are going to finish the semester then plan for the possibility of this situation continuing but most importantly after all this has passed it really is important that they prepare for something like this again. I like the idea of the students should come first in these situations not just because stress levels and anxiety will rise because of this but professors need to just consider their students. For example now that we are all quarantined inside it does not necessarily mean that we have more free time so increasing our workload does not really help. Maybe this happened because professor still want to keep you on trac to complete the course by the end of the semester, but you need to consider the students you cannot just drop loads of work on students. Or another example could be if it is a school holiday maybe you should keep the holiday and not have class but anyways, I do not think there would be anyone who would do that. I thought that those were the most important aspects of the article, but this really is a tough time for everybody. It is always good to remember that you are not alone during this time and whenever you feel like it is too much the best thing to do is talk to someone pushing through may not be the most effective or intelligent option when it comes to something like this.

  19. Covid-19 has changed the entire world’s learning platform. It has definitely affected many students and workers at Rider University. At first, I was rather excited to know that classes would be moved online, but shortly after coursework began I realized that this was not going to be better to learn or teach the material. I can agree in the article that schools need to be prepared in the case this needs to happen again, as the beginning of the next school year could be in danger. The stress to get work done, while not being able to fully comprehend each lesson or chapter, will only continue to rise due to this pandemic. A lot of professors have put on such strict rules, and given extreme assignments while not thinking about the students, and what they are currently going through at home.

  20. Being informed of remote learning wasn’t as bad as being concerned with preparing my family for quarantine in a short period of time. The anxiety set in, when I saw the shelves were empty.
    As being an older student going back to college full time. The transition was not easy. I did not grow up in the generation of technology and have never taken a full semester online. There was a little turbulence however, it was completely worked out. I will say it is refreshing to have professors that have a strong sense of empathy, especially when you feel the whole world is in disarray as a result of this COVID-19 World pandemic. Their sense of understanding eliminated the stress of transaction. Talk about crash course learning in the heat of the moment However, I am doing it. I can hypothetically relate my situation with doing whatever it takes, while flying with a toddler. The survival mode kicks in and you must do what it takes to get through this. Especially when you have a lot at stake. I know not everybody has it easy, and their whole worlds are turned upside down. I pray that they can stay focused, move forward and never give up. It is a time that we need to be a little kinder because you never know what someone is going through. I for one am thankful for moral support as well as online learning, it has given me a sense of norm. I don’t think I would like to do it full time However, it is extremely comforting to have the luxury allotted to us.
    Sending positive vibes to all

  21. I enjoyed this article because it applies to me and what I am experiencing right now along with thousands of other students. The transition is very difficult in some areas and not every professor has the knowledge to be an online teacher making it hard for their students. But then you have to remember that they did not intend to switch their teachings to online methods. This article gave rules and the one that stood out the most was “RULE #2: STUDENTS MATTER MOST.”. I feel as though some teachers are not focusing on this part because students are feeling overwhelmed. Our learning environments have completely shifted and it is hard for some people to adjust. The movement to online classes should not be just about assignments but about learning. Learning for some students is not happening instead they are doing the bare minimum just to say that they have tried. I know for some universities have made classes pass or fail.

    I do not like this because there are some classes that you need in order to take another class. A student could get used to doing the bare minimum and when it is time to go back to in-person classes will be very hard for them to get used to how things are normally handled. Another thing that stood out was that the article said to prepare for the long haul. If this arrangement continues every university will have to change its university tuition. Housing fees and other on-campus fees will no longer be charged which will make tuition cheaper, which will make it a great time to start going to college. The first rule, do whatever it takes to get through this phase, could be taken in two ways. For some students, this means studying very hard since there is more nothing else to do. Or this could mean to do whatever it takes to pass even if that means to cheat and try to do the least amount of work possible.

  22. The coronavirus has led just about all schools and universities to transition to remote learning for the time being if not for the rest of the academic year. Moving lectures, resources and assignments to a completely online setting is new for most people and will definitely take time for adjustment. Not only is it difficult for students to move all of their classes to a remote setting but their personal lives also have to be greatly considered. This pandemic does not only affect the students’ academic life but it can also greatly affect their safety, the health of their family members and living situation. All of these aspects of a student’s life makes this crisis that much more difficult to deal with. This article by the president of Southern New Hampshire University provides some helpful advice for everyone to help get through these difficult times.
    Paul LeBlanc makes a very important point in the article when he states that students matter the most. He explains that making sure that students are doing alright on a personal level should be a priority and will evidently lead to them performing well academically speaking. LeBlanc also mentions that it is important to start planning for the long term because if the number of cases does not cease, there is a great possibility that remote learning will extend to the fall semester. The ability for higher level institutions to adapt to these rapid changes while providing faculty and students with a positive remote learning experience is crucial to reach the same level of satisfaction that they would receive in a normal academic year. Making the entire process as seamless and as natural as possible will ultimately lead to the success of the students and universities nationwide.

  23. The pandemic has given the world a wake-up call that has hit everyone harder than ever. This is something no one expected or prepared for, however, it is a learning experience that will never be taken for granted. I do believe even though it’s been tough and scary for everyone, young or old, this is something the world needed. This has helped reshape our normal routine and get out of our comfort zone. This is beneficial because it has prepared us better than ever for any crisis like this. Thankfully we live in a society where we have everything and anything right by our fingertips. Also, as the article related it to universities going to remote learning everyone panicked. Many people own a technology device that is compatible with what is said to be done for online classes, for example, zoom meetings, online papers, etc. This becomes extremely easy and effective for students who can lounge around all day while continuing to do their work as they would any other day, except this time they’re not actually in class. Well, that being said, what happens to the students who don’t have the technology devices and are used to going to the library to do their work. It is important to understand how much students matter and whatever they need universities and schools should provide for them.
    Furthermore, this is a delicate time where parents might have lost jobs, family members being sick, and then on top of it all transitioning into this so-called remote learning. This is where professors and teachers’ role is critical to students learning. If students are communicating effectively with professors and classmates but are struggling whether it’s schoolwork or home situations this is something that should not be taken lightly. Circumstances like these must be brought up to the professor or teacher in order so they could understand and give you some leeway. Adaptability is something that will come and get better as every one of us gets comfortable working in these situations.

  24. Many students like myself feel as if online classes are most certainly not easier than being in class, which was what was assumed before the start of online classes. However, this assumption was quickly done away with once online classes began and many students started to feel as if these classes were actually harder than being in class. I found myself bombarded with emails from all my professors and other faculty at Rider which made the switch to online quite overwhelming. This article was refreshing to say the least after reading about the five rules. It made me feel as if I am not alone in this struggle and that we are all in this together, both students and teachers. Also, I thought that it was a great idea for the article to discuss the mental health of students, which is something that I feel very passionate about. Student mental health is an overlooked subject, especially now during the whole pandemic. On top of trying to live through one of the biggest historical events in United States history, they were relocated out of their dorm rooms and off campus housing and forced to adapt to a new style of learning and immediately flooded with assignments and emails and due dates. I think it was important for the article to mention that everyone should check on one another, because often times people forget to ask the simple question of “how are you?” These three simple words can go a very long way.

  25. Wow this is definitely an article that all the universities staff members and students need to read. The COVID-19 pandemic has not made it any easier for students. Some professors need to read this article and fully understand how important rule #2: students matter most is. From my experience so far some professors have become very understanding while others have not. Some professors aren’t even teaching what needs to be taught and fully explaining the material. Some professors are just emailing us to read and go over the PowerPoints and then quizzing us on that material. One of my majors is finance and the reason I didn’t choose online courses for this matter is because I personally learn better in person when professors are verbally teaching us, showing us, and doing examples on the board. Now I am basically paying my university just to earn my credits because I have to teach myself by watching YouTube videos or searching up examples on the material I am trying to learn. Sure, I am in the comfort of my own home which is the only pro in all of this but it is still a hard time. Now rule number three which is planning for the long haul, which honestly is now seeming more realistic. The number for confirmed cases just keep on increasing and people are not taking this quarantine serious. It has already been confirmed from my university that summer courses will also be online and if we keep ignoring this social distancing rule then it might continue throughout the fall semester. So now what does this mean for students who learn better in person? I believe that the author of this article, Paul LeBlanc offers very important tips and facts that can benefit all of us, especially including universities staffs.

  26. I agree with the author of this article on virtual learning being a sort of unique option. In order to make it through this period of uncertainty, the only thing we can do is moving our class interactions to online platforms. It is obviously not the most comfortable method for both students and instructors, principally because we are all used to the traditional setting. Regardless, online classes have allowed us students to advance in our higher education journey despite the adversities. Doing whatever it takes to get through this phase sounds rather extreme considering that we are addressing just a small aspect of society. Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures, but this situation is not live-threatening to the majority of the world’s population. Many issues are arising consequently, for which we should do our best to overcome. Online classes are a privilege for those students who have access to them. I agree with the fact that students are a priority and that, therefore, guidelines should be flexible. I also believe, however, that instructors also deserve flexibility since this is a new setting for both parties. Preparing for the future is a no-brainer. Forming a strong virtual system online was going to be essential anyways, however, this situation has encouraged many entities to incorporate the system now. It is also important for them to analyze how to fortify these tools for future complications, but also for the future in general. This is the point with which I agree the most. Making the most out of the resources available is also important since external resources are becoming less available as the issue continues. Overall, I don’t believe that the situation is as bad as to do whatever it takes in order to overcome it, I believe that it is more a matter of adaptability and planning in order to coexist.

  27. The situation that COVID-19 has brought upon is one that nobody had ever expected. This global pandemic has grown at a rate that was initially unimaginable and has turned everyones’ lives upside down. Recently, universities have declared that it is mandatory for them to move to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Although this is unfortunate news for many students, especially the graduating class, it is crucial to remain positive during these times and this article is some ways for universities to get through this in the best way. First, the situation that we are in is only temporary, so it is so important to do whatever it takes right now to get through this phase as quickly as possible. Universities can still provide the same quality of education by investing in technology, even if it is a little more expensive. By doing so, they are investing in the well being of their students to also ensure the quality of the programs don’t go down.
    Second, the students matter the most for any university in these times. Nobody would have thought that a portion of their college experience would be spent remotely. For the seniors, this is their last semester before going off into the world once and for all and this is a special one for them. Personally, many close friends of mine were set to relocate right after commencement due to their career opportunities and I didn’t realize that the last time I saw would be the last time I would see them for a very long time. This situation is difficult for students especially since some of them might have family members who are directly affected by this virus. The sooner that universities and professors are able to understand what the students are going through, the quicker they can adjust accordingly and provide the necessary resources to support the students through this difficult time.
    Lastly, the sudden appearance of this pandemic has shown universities how unprepared they were for a situation like this one. From here on out, if universities can plan to still utilize all technological implementations made now in the future, this will help them survive through situations like. In addition, it provides a new way on how classes can be held especially those that are online. Some students find that online classes are actually harder since it is harder to have close interactions with the professor and therefore more difficult to understand the material. Technology like Zoom and other platforms can help these online classes be more beneficial for students hence making the program better for all in the long run.

  28. COVID-19 has completely changed the way that the world works. Acts of greeting, dresswear, methods of avoiding human contact, work and schooling have all changed dramatically. The stress and anxiety levels of people all around the world have skyrocketed. College and University students seem to be feeling the greatest rath from the updated educational methods. The president of Southern New Hampshire University, Paul LeBlanc, elaborates on strategies to aid facilities and administrations of institutes of higher education (IHE).
    He first uses the analogy of a crying baby on a plane, and how the parents do whatever it takes to silence and calm the child. Even if it means giving them an extra treat or placing a screen in front of their face for hours. Not the best strategies, but they work in that specific instance. The same needs to be done for IHE’s. LeBlanc emphasizes that the students matter most. Not only are these young adults facing the stress of a world pandemic, but they also need to manage all of the responsibilities of being a full time student. “In “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much,” authors Eldar Shafir and Sendhil Mullainathan show that anxiety and scarcity of resources rob humans of precious cognitive bandwidth” It is important to understand how the students are compromised and how to properly address it. LeBlacn stresses the importance of making an effort to treat students as humans during this crisis and not just another concern that the professor or administration needs to handle. I believe this concept should be taken into consideration world wide throughout every situation. It is vitally important to remember that this is a situation that affects all humans in all professions.
    While there are encouraging thoughts regarding ‘release dates’ for quarantine, LeBlanc reminds people to plan for the long haul. He mentions, “For countries not managing their pandemic response well, there is the very real possibility that campuses will not reopen in the fall” This means more than just adaptations online for spring or even summer courses. LeBlanc is suggesting that IHE’s take this time to increase the quality and efficiency of adaptations in academic advising, administrative functions, IT, tutoring, and more. “IT staff need to not only get on top of their technology stack, starting with the learning management systems (LMS), but also develop a good customer relationship management platform to support advising functions and the suite of other necessary tools.” Suddenly, new divisions of universities and companies are headed to the front lines. Preparation is truly the key to a successful future. For our education and our world.

  29. Just about a month ago, I commented on one of these articles about schools moving online in China. At the time it seemed like a world away, and I never thought that just a week and a half following my university would take the same measures, and then the rest of the country. To say that the transition to remote learning is hard is an understatement. Through watching my friends, and my own experience, it has been emotionally and physically draining to make this switch.
    Although it has been hard, I applaud Rider University for doing their best to return to normalcy. Faculty and professors have been more accessible than ever, and even have been planning “events” to help keep students connected. It is all too easy to feel forgotten in an online class when your only communication has been through emails, but I can really say that a professor’s effort shows. I appreciate the professors of mine who have made it clear that they care about their students, and they are here to help.
    Through reading this article, I felt that my current emotions are valid and understood. At a time like this, it is more important than ever to stay connected with loved ones, family, friends, classmates and professors. The professors who have reached out to me, either personally or to the entire class, have made me feel comforted and important. I think that it is important for all professors to understand the impact their words can have on students, and should consider making an effort to connect.
    Almost one month exactly since all students at Rider packed up their belongings for an indefinite spring break, it seems as though days are starting to feel like a routine. As we continue on with online classes and office hours, we must recognize the importance of our preparedness to COVID-19. We must prepare for the fall semester, whether it be online or in person, but also come up with an emergency plan for the future, so that students do not feel this much pressure and stress.

  30. In this article, Paul LeBlanc highlights the guidelines for students and universities alike can adapt through this difficult coronavirus crisis. Many universities have adapted online, virtual learning oppose to stopping the semester altogether so that students can continue to receive an education, despite not being in a physical classroom. This is a very tough time for students everywhere, but especially those who are not adapted to online learning. I myself have a lot of experience with online classes and I still find it difficult to properly learn through a computer opposed to in a classroom.

    LeBlanc makes a great point with his third guideline, “Plan for the long haul”. Realistically, there is no way of knowing when coronavirus will be eradicated and when life will return to normal. Unfortunately despite progress, there could be second and third waves of the virus that would force students to continue learning online. Many public highschools have already extended their online learning until late May, which is almost two months from now and even then there is no promise that people would be able to start going back to physical classrooms.

    Unfortunately for college students who rely on scholarships and pay their own tuition, it is a lose-lose situation because students have every right to be angry that they are not receiving the education that they are paying for. However, thousands of other students are not either and everyone is basically suffering together. The only thing that universities can do is to make the transition from physical classrooms to online classrooms, a little smoother. It is essential for both students and professors to receive the technical and emotional support.

    Although I agree that virtual learning is the safest method possible as of now, many students are demanding that the semester be cancelled and they receive refunds. This is also an understandable proposal because although students do have a lot more time at home now, many are caring for their families and even dealing with the deaths of people in their lives who fell ill to coronavirus. At this time, safety is a main priority and education should come second and it is important for universities and professors to remain understanding and supportiv during this time.

  31. COVID-19 has disrupted every industry in a different way and gives us further insight into how to deal with a changing world. Paul LeBlanc, President of South New Hampshire University lays out his rules for navigating these uncharted waters in his recent article, which explain the faults of the current higher education system that will prevent institutions from accomplishing their most important goals. Education is one of the most critical components of our society that we need to keep relatively unscathed during this time as the demand for professionals and the need to nourish the minds of young people will never be put on hold because of some external factors. President LeBlanc brings attention to some extremely valuable points that every institution, including Seton Hall University, can learn from.

    Each point is equally valid and progresses the idea that in order to promote the successful education of students, we have to change the fundamental structure to the education system. I can sympathize with the concern about the mental health of students who see degenerating effects on their own “cognitive bandwidth” which is an unfortunate side effect of an event like the one we are going through now. Taking steps to help these students in ways that can actually be controlled is extremely important to ensure that not only kids that come from stable backgrounds will be able to make it through this time period. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions can be substantially mitigated if we take time to understand how these processes are affecting kids and perfect the methods we currently have to reduce the time spent figuring out how it will work. This leads into the third point to prepare for the long haul, which entails tweaking the process to create a sustainable platform for long term use. We cannot expect the same quality of education from professors who do not even know how to use a webcam. As blunt as that may sound, it is the unfortunate reality when we are confined to our laptops as our main educational resource. I hope to see much more training programs in place for instructors so that they can understand how to teach their students so that they get the most out of the lectures. Giving a voice to those in higher education who typically do not have much of a say in things due to the power structure is a good way to make prior points addressable and not just pipe dreams. By having task forces consisting of the tech support and faculty that can optimize and facilitate these meetings best, we can actually have a chance at setting the students up to learn in a similar way to before the pandemic. These changes are absolutely necessary and are the only option to creating a clear path to how a college education will be operated in the future.

  32. In this stressful time despite the high school seniors that are suffering from their loss of graduation and senior prom, there is another group that is specifically struggling as well and that is low income college freshman. A lot of freshmen that come from particularly low income families went onto campuses this year to break the cycle in their family and get their education to get out of the situation they are in and not even a year into their on campus experience they are ripped away and sent back home. Now first before we get into the direct topics discussed in the article let’s talk about what a lot of these students are lacking: wifi, computer repair in the event it breaks, electricity, and in some cases a roof over their head. These obstacles although only seem like petty anxieties to some students are a dark reality for many others. This is why I strongly believe on campus living is a safe haven especially for those students who literally have little to nothing except the promise of a diploma. I think that the article is right that the students come first and a part of understanding that the students come first is understanding that some people are in a spot where they won’t have the ability to partake in the online classes and then to go further an accept their reality and not doc them points for things that they have no control over. The support needed for these students which is aided on campus is just not the reality that a lot of other more fortunate students have and this online scenario puts them right back into a disadvantage which they worked so hard to get out of throughout highschool to land them a spot on campus at a private university. Let’s put into play a scenario: say a student comes from the streets after working very hard in highschool to make a better life for themselves by getting good grades and working a job to financially support themselves. Then once they get on campus where they need to move up on and out they get told they must go back to the place they worked hard their entire life to come back up from. They are put back into the same place that they needed to leave inorder to stop being weighed down and are told to tread water with online classes and make it work. I understand the pass or fail is meant to help the students but also consider many live in an environment where they are unable to make it to a video chat even once let alone every class. It is visible and doable for some students and I completely understand that they show must go on regardless of the COVID-19 I just wish there was more aid and understanding for those that are more susceptible to falling behind because of the reality that they were born into, remember: not everyone is from the suburbs.

  33. The explosion of COVID-19 has greatly impacted institutions of higher education. In my opinion, in terms of finishing this spring semester, schools have done a fairly good job of adapting and problem-solving. While there were many kinks in the transition, schools did the best they could in the little time they had. However, I believe that if the lockdown is to continue into the next semester, there will be several issues that universities will have to face. My first and largest concern will be how they will determine the price of tuition. In my opinion, it would be criminal for some schools to charge the same amount for another online semester. In my own experience, while many professors have adjusted to the online format, many clearly have no technological capabilities or good plans as to how they should teach online. In other words, I believe that there is truly no difference between taking online classes from a community college compared to an expensive university. I believe if universities fail to lower tuition costs for an online semester, many students will choose to take credits from a much cheaper, online community college. Secondly, I fear that in many situations this transition will focus less and less on student development and more on giving out credits. Evidently, some professors take their job more seriously in the classroom and view the online classes as a lost cause. In return, I feel that this has significantly undermined the work of both students and prestigious universities during this challenging time. There will have to be some sort of standard implemented through each department, ensuring professors are effectively teaching the class material. Finally, I fear that many students will suffer from being in a home environment versus a collegiate environment. Many students come from a place in which academics struggle to be the focus. Similarly, only more challenges arise when it comes to motivation, clear communication, and finding a safe and effective environment to study. Ideally, this situation will not arise and more effective measures will be put in place to combat the virus. However, until such measures are deemed effective, schools must prepare for these situations.

  34. The article in question and its title presents us with a lot of possibilities among wondering how would universities need to adapt to online learning in this pandemic. Mind you, most professors in many universities are unequipped with the correct skillset and are overall are inadequate to change into remote learning (considering the fact they have been teaching face to face for who knows how long). Additionally, our professors are probably Generation X and/or Millennials meaning that unlike us (Generation Z), they did not use digital technology since a young age and/or not as comfortable with the internet and social media; they are not as digitally literate compared to us students.

    Obviously, I believe just because our professors are born in a generation before us doesn’t mean they are unable to use technology as efficiently as we can. Skip to the present where every professor is still able to lecture their courses, adapting through the pandemic by teaching their classes remotely. Not only academics, but students and professors might also have trouble adapting to online learning when they have real life situations they have to deal with; their parents are jobless due to the pandemic and they are unable to have the basic essentials (food, electricity, etc) or their loved ones might have also contracted the disease. Therefore, I believe the professors should be more lenient throughout this pandemic; their expectations should be lower compared to when it was in-person learning and they should be overall lenient and understanding considering the circumstances presented and the situations of their students.

    Me for example, I am not use to having remote learning than compared to an in-person class. I get really distracted while at home and I have trouble taking remote learning seriously because remote learning lacks engagement compared to in-person where the professors are able to guide you through better learning. Additionally, I believe that this article and blog post is no different than the “The Future Of Work Looks Like Staying Out Of The Office” article; both articles have many similarities including “working” from the comforts of the home instead of an office or in a classroom for this article.

  35. This pandemic is something unprecedented that we have to live through, and the consequences of it go farther than just the health concerns. The issues that have presented themselves with remote learning specifically should not have been a surprise to most. As stated in the blog post, the assumption that everyone lives in the same conditions and circumstances is a ridiculous one to make when looking at the sheer variety of students. A stable internet connection and stable home living conditions are not guaranteed at all, only among a certain wealthier demographic, and it can be hard for students to adapt to the workload at home along with other stresses. I think the points made in the blog posts should definitely be considered, especially with many professors planning for us to be returning this semester even though all signs pointed to remote learning. The delusion that this will pass quickly and that it is only a phase will be our downfall in general, but if IHEs are not prepared for the likelihood that they may not have students coming for the next semester will suffer the consequences in the long run. Lack of preparation is what got us into this mess in the first place, and history is doomed to repeat itself unless we take a proactive approach to many mor things than we have in the past. The ability to adapt is the key to survival, whether an individual or an institution, it is critical to be ready for anything that could happen. If IHEs don’t ready themselves for that possibility, there will be even larger consequences that will not be sorted in time for there to be no issues. Institutions can learn from the problems they are facing now and work to fix and find those willing to prepare for circumstances in the future.

  36. The author of this article stresses one thing that I really do not agree with. He is telling university’s who did not have a strong online presence before the corona virus outbreak, to ease into online learning. He claims that in this case, great is the enemy of good, and that university’s should be focused on “doing well enough.” However, “just well enough” is not what people pay 100s of thousands of dollars for. “Just well enough” sounds like an excuse for universities who don’t want to go above and beyond in order to deliver the best education they can. I used to go to a basketball trainer when I was younger by the name of Micah Lancaster. His whole philosophy centered around literally trying your hardest at things that you weren’t good at it. When it came to crossovers, he would have me cross over as hard as I could as fast as I could. In the beginning I messed up a lot, but over time my ball handling skills got drastically better. He believed that if you practiced slow, then you would become really good at slow crossovers. By going full force, I was forcing my body to adapt and become good at real game situations. I believe this to be similar for online education. Universities should try us their best version of online learning right from the start. Students do not have the time and/or money for anything less. By going full force right from the start, teachers and faculty will learn on the fly what works and what does not. For instance, my BLAW class this semester is the only class that has not skipped a beat. Much to my original dismay, the online course demanded just as much from me as the in-class course did. Every other class I’m taking is doing just enough to get by. They are either posting their power points online, or essentially recording their lectures. I could get this same education, looking stuff up on my own for a fraction of the price. This pandemic is no excuse to do “just well enough,” universities should see this as a challenge and go game speed from the beginning.

  37. The article briefly touches upon accountability of the students and how the normal “in-person” environment provides this greater sense of accountability. While I do agree (to an extent) that this is true, I think because of the outcome of the social distancing and quarantine situation we need to adapt and become more self reliant. For so many, (myself included) I had used to be the one to do the bare minimum, and relied a bit on outside sources reminding me to do “this” or “that”. It goes without saying that I adapted – grew up, to put it bluntly. And this current situation is a further test to others, and myself to continue to adapt and show that the only one who can truly be accountable for what I do (or don’t do) is myself.

    It’s easier for individuals our age to be accountable for our actions, and therefore somewhat easier for professors of universities/colleges to be able to go about the class schedule without pause – the same cannot be said for younger children who may not have the same realization(s), and thus, it has and will continue to cause issues for the teachers and the administration.

    That being said, if this does in fact, continue and we are faced with “shelter-in-place” orders, then the curriculum needs to follow suit and not fall behind.

  38. In lieu of the pandemic, our society has been thrust into a world where all of its parts are working separately. It has truly blocked the gears of how we function with everybody scrambling to remedy the situation. A certain thread runs through everyone’s opinion; that being nobody wanted this to happen and I believe a reason for this is our unfamiliarity with the situation. This is truly a learning experience for all parties involved, hopefully this is not a situation we get accustomed to just for the time being but as a tool for any future with similar situations.
    The article says to do whatever it takes to get through this phase. This gives the implication that once we get past whatever this is, we can resolve it after. The article says that higher education has higher standards, so when that is disrupted there is a need to remedy or not take what happened during quarantine as equal to a traditional learning environment. The learning experience is definitely troubling for students and teachers because the genuine human interaction is handicapped and cannot teach/learn with the same ease. This is why we should not treat this ordeal as a one-time occurrence, because the chances are, this same dilemma will arise once more just in a different form. So, if we learn to adapt to a format where you do not lose too much of that experience, our world will not be disrupted as badly, and we can more easily transition to online work.
    Going forward, it is not possible for certain aspects of education to be accommodated. Especially for STEM students, work in labs will not nearly be as close to as it has been. They will not have access to working in labs or simply together in person. Or for nursing students who need to go on clinicals, that is an area where it would be very dangerous. So, how would universities meet this and accommodate this?
    In terms of the present however, we should try to limit the damage as much as possible. Although everyone is eager to get back outside and return to their normal lives, we should also be cautious and take no half measures. The last thing we would want is a second leap in cases because it will be more destructive than the first. So, if we just deal with this carefully, we can certainly and surely defeat this.

  39. The current COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, and abrupt and sudden measures were taken to prevent the spread becoming much more significant than it already was. Our university was quick to close and switch to remote learning for the rest of the semester to ensure the students of our school got to complete our classes with as little worry as possible. While I think the author of this article is right in that universities should do whatever it takes to push through this, put students first, plan for the long term, and determine the full capability of its resources, I believe the most important rule is putting the students first, more so than the article describes. In the article, the author describes this point as creating regular one-on-one interaction to hopefully boost morale, as several issues in the lives of students due to this pandemic can contribute even more to the anxiety and depression that a significant portion of students already were stuck managing prior to a pandemic and economic meltdown. This is an important thing to students, but the author mentions in the last three sentences that grades should be less important than making the student feel like they matter, because if they feel like they matter, they will do good work. I did not like the way it was phrased in that sense, and I also did not like how it was not a much more important point in that section. The student should definitely feel like they matter, but it should not just be to get the student to have a better performance given the current circumstances. Students need leniency, period. Making the student feel like they matter is not going to drastically help them improve their work ethic during this time. Having courses at home, many students are struggling to make the adjustment due to parent’s not understanding the boundaries that the student is working, and not just home doing nothing so they can do whatever the parent asks. There are a multitude of distractions and worries preventing the students from being able to reach the academic performance a professor may be accustomed to during class. Students need leniency and understanding, whether assignments are turned in a bit late, or they do not meet the high standards set for them. Many professors recently have felt that because students are home more, they can do more work for the class, but that simply is not the case either. Many students might have gotten pushed to work at their “essential” workplaces due to their coworkers taking leaves, or if a parent lost their job and the student needs to work to help put food on the table during this time. There are so many factors that are not being taken into account in this article, and even by professors in general. Professors get the luxury of working from home and maintaining their job, while students have to worry about maintaining work standards, taking on a significantly higher load of work, helping parents who may have lost jobs put food on the table, deal with the added stress that students already face, among many other issues.

  40. Learning in college and many other educational settings have been face to face for years and has been a staple of education. Recently with the change to online learning, a big disruption in the educational system has become a problem for almost everyone involved. Teachers and students alike have been thrust into a completely new setting and have been tasked to adapt to a completely new way of learning. Of course, doing these things is nothing that we want to do but it is something that must be done, and it also gives us a look into the way the future of leaning and also how business may soon be done. The article comes from a university that has always had a strong online presence long prior to COVID-19 being a thing and they offer many useful tips for those of us that are not as familiar with this type of learning and overall process. With these tips they state that universities should not necessarily look for the highest standard and take whatever is done as long as it works for their application. This is a good idea but I don’t know if it is the best option, I would say there should be some leeway for students because of the new systems, but the quality of work should not be drastically dropped in order to complete the year. I think the most important tip that they outline is the one that discusses the mental health of students and how they are doing in times of isolation. Being in isolation and unable to go out and do activities puts a lot of stress on everyone no matter who you are, and double that on students because they not only have those stresses but also the added stresses from school work. We need to make sure that enough is being done to support and help people that are not adapting to these situations as others and do what is necessary until they are on board and fully adapted to the new way of doing things. Also, the one about the long haul, no one knows what will become of this pandemic and the future of learning and business might be forever changed. We as students need to focus on these changes and be active in our role to be prepared for our futures.

  41. The current pandemic will have implications that will last forever. Online learning will be a huge thing to decide in a college to go to. If we assume that more and more things will be rooted in technology why does it have to stop at the college or even lower level of school? I understand the whole approach that the article is taking but this online course-taking is not a temporary thing even if there is no second wave of the COVID-19 virus. speaking from personal experience, online courses haven’t been done right, they are either recordings or just type something for class, it takes away any discussion-based learning that we have and hinders any learning in the STEM areas. The stem I think is mostly impacted by this problem of online learning, the way it works is that everything builds upon the last topic so in we don’t understand chapter 3 how can we grasp any idea of chapter 4. The use of recording a class to post online does not help in that regard because there is no way to ask a question be it how did you get that number or where that formula came from. The other big problem for STEM courses is how can we experience science implications in the real world if we are stuck in our homes. For the medical fields or any STEM-related work labs are a crucial part of being competitive in those fields, should this online learning be a more permanent endeavor then there must be a way to show or do these labs. In the world of more of soft sciences or art classes, how can a remote online-centered education help these? the one thing I could think of is the uses of discord and zoom to have everyone together and hold a discussion. Online learning will be more abundant in the future, we have all seen the commercials for SNHU and now Maryville University about taking online courses to help someone reach their goal with this epidemic that’ll only grow. If they are advocating for the online course then other schools should look to these leaders and even fix the problems they have. This will also have problems within the business world as they will have to adapt to more students being more reliant on technology than ever before. I agree with the second point that students matter most. Understandably we are now home so we do have more time on our hands but that is not an invitation for teachers to give more work. However, the 1st point about this being a phase is only partly true. I think this is only a look into the future. If there’s a snow day it’ll be moved to online, a hurricane happens classes will be online, this will become a new normal for education. Sooner than later more online applications will be made for online learning and schools will be more online. Going to school might just be sitting at a desk at home and signing into a laptop.

  42. To be honest I believe now is the best time to restructure our education system. We will not ever have the chance to do it again where students and teachers do not have to be in school. I think now is the perfect time for states to look at their individual education systems and compare themselves to how Massachusetts runs their schools or even take notes from Finland. Now more than ever I believe we should retrain our K-12 teachers and in return increase teachers’ salaries. For students to receive the best education they can, they should have the best teachers and a way we can achieve that is by raising salaries and making the career more competitive. While Paul LeBlanc’s article is about universities I still do not agree with his “do whatever it takes” point. I understand the point he is trying to make by just getting the basics out of the way and create a less stressful situation, but I think that is a horrible idea overall. Every single one of my professors have chosen a different way to operate during this pandemic and for the first week it was stressful, I got something out of it. I was expected to stay on track with most of my classes and in return I have become a lot more organized and my time management has become better. Not perfect as I am writing this blog comment the hour before it is due, but better. During times like this we need “normal” and by normal, I mean some routine we are used to. School was apart of my routine and I am glad we did not shut down completely because I would have driven myself crazy with boredom. I saw an article by the New York Post today saying that the average American is now streaming 8 hours a day and that in my opinion is a result of no routine. LeBlanc advocates for people struggling with mental health and consequences of the virus and I do think those with serious problems should contact the school and report them, but for others who get a few hours of isolation from family members or roommates because “I’m in class” or “I’m doing schoolwork” are valid excuses is such a relief. I do not think people need to be with each other 24/7, it ruins relationships. We need other sources of social interaction and responsibilities to have some time to ourselves and that is usually what school or work provides.

  43. The Brookings article, “COVID-19 has thrust universities into online learning—how should they adapt?” by Paul LeBlanc gives thoughtful tips for handling online learning amid the Coronavirus. When the semester began, no one could have predicted by March that every college student would have to go to class virtually. The Coronavirus pandemic has completely changed how students are taught. LeBlanc begins the article by stating professors “should do whatever it takes to get through this phase”. LeBlanc’s statement is correct because most professors and students are new to online learning. Professors spend months before the semester preparing in class lectures and assignments. Professors, who have always conducted class in person, are now forced to give lectures online. In such a stressful time for all Americans, professors should conduct online learning in a way that benefits them the most. Some professors that I have chosen to conduct class at the normal time virtually and others have decided to give assignments each week. This phase of online learning will not last forever, therefore it is imperative for professors to get through this anyway they can and go back to normal in the fall.

    LeBlanc continues the article by stating that students matter most, “In the U.S, and around much of the world, anxiety and depression are rampant among university students. We’ve just added the existential threat of a pandemic and the looming threat of a global economic meltdown to their worries”. University students already struggle with anxiety and depression due to rigorous class work. Adding the threat of a pandemic, heightens anxiety and depression for students because now they’re not just worrying about doing homework or attending class, they now have to worry about their families, learning online, and adapting to this new environment. Since Seton Hall was moved to online learning, I have found school to be less stressful. It is much easier not worrying about commuting one hour just to get to school, when you are able to just attend class from home. Also, the workload is about the same, it does not feel that way because there is more time to study and complete assignments. Overall, my experience with online learning is going well and I hope to use this experience when I enter the workforce.

  44. Online learning is an obstacle that has yet been defeated. It has been months since the abrupt transition took place, but teachers and students are still struggling to adapt to these unnatural circumstances. Albeit, it was sudden and entirely unplanned, but this way of learning has proven itself to be staying for a long time so readjusting is essential for success. Online schooling is a very difficult way to properly learn, but it is important that teachers and students make the best of their resources and discover newer and better ways of navigating through these troubling times.

    The article makes strong points in aiding and simplifying the transition, but there are other things that should be recognized as well. For instance, many professors claim themselves not to be “tech-savvy” so they decide that significantly decreasing their students’ value of learning is a better option during this transition. Rather than navigating the various digital platforms that are readily available, they will post bland, lengthy audio lectures and expect their students to properly grasp the information they are provided. This style of “teaching” is extremely ineffective and frankly a waste of time and money. Learning involves conversation and questions answered, and both of these principles are disregarded entirely when this teaching style is practiced. Not only that, but a student’s desire to learn and work hard will plummet.

    This pandemic is a prime example of the importance of adaptation and innovation, which are essential tools in success. Now is not the time to take the easy way out of things, if anything it is quite the opposite. Now is the time to experiment and grow as you are stuck in your home during quarantine. Despite the extreme hardships and loss that COVID-19 has resulted in, it has opened the door to the opportunity for people to better themselves from the comfort of their home.

  45. As we have quickly been forced to move into online learning due to Covid-19 I believe we have made the transition more smoothly than expected. Although this has brought a tremendous amount of stress to students, universities, and teachers, I agree with this article that it has been most difficult for students because they have to learn in a different environment and acquire this work and submit these assignments in various ways. I believe the environment we are presented will have a huge effect on the quality of our work and that will be very negative if these places are filled with distractions. This pandemic has brought forth many questions such as “How long will this phase occur” or “Will we be able to adapt and implement this style of teaching into future courses”. For now, I agree with the article that the best thing we can do is prepare for the long haul so students are informed and prepared for whatever they have to complete to continue their studies. It is very important for students to utilize resources such as email, stay in contact with their professors and fellow classmates to stay updated and on top of the work they have to complete. Some universities have moved to a pass/fail system which will have a tremendous effect on students final averages. We are all going through this pandemic together so I believe your success has a lot to do with your communication with the teacher and staying on top of emails. Being lenient is very helpful to students during this time but it is very important you stay on topic. This may be a huge step in the right direction though. Online learning gives us the opportunity to communicate with professors and complete digital assignments on platforms that may become the new norm in the future. Online learning has presented a lot of difficulty but will help improve future education opportunities considering we are in the transition of a lot of work and communication being moved onto the web.

  46. COVID-19 has been tough on us as students. I say this from my own experience, but I think that everyone would agree with me on that statement. While I think the writer of the article makes good points about ways to help get through this time, nothing will truly make this situation good for college students. No college student paid all of their money and are going into debt to sit in front of a screen and listen to lectures. In fact, we are getting the worst of both worlds at the current time. We still have to put our focus into learning and bettering our education, but we lose the independence that we so recently gained. We return home to our chores and duties around the house, at least we are home with our friends and family, except we actually can’t safely see any friends and most of our family. I know most of my professors are making a great effort to help us get through this time and power on with support and new policies. Yet, some offer no help. When I am at school I am focused and engaged, but there is a stark difference between home and school. The home is not a place for learning, and despite the best efforts by professors, it will not change the fact that universities were designed for learning and the home was designed for living. This situation is a net negative, obviously, but we have to make it as positive as possible. I think that the points laid out in this article are a fine start, but we must also strive to make online learning more like a campus. Make chat rooms for studying, keep the communities that we made on campus going virtually. I see some trying to keep this up but its not enough. If we can’t be at SHU then we need to bring SHU home.

  47. This article discusses how the education system is being disrupted by COVID-19. We have had some very insightful discussions on this during or past few class meetings. As I read this article many things struck out to me. The author mentioned the importance of the students’ wellbeing. As we know a home environment isn’t always the ideal place to learn and study. I concentrate and focus best in silence, so this has been a challenge for me as a student. Afterall, there is no third-floor library I can go to. Furthermore, I have been facing obstacles with the size of my house and the number of people I live with. Right now, my grandpa is staying with, my house is rather small and on any given day it is hard to be in a room alone. There are a lot of variables that each student and University faces during this pandemic. One way some universities are helping to alleviate stress is by extending pass/fail options to students. I am debating pursuing this option in my English class, because my professor isn’t adjusting to remote learning very well. My professor is older, and stereo-typically thinks he can outlast technology and just do everything the “old fashion way”. He was adamant to discourage the pass/fail option to our class. After speaking with the English chair, who related to me that she is actually encouraging students to take pass/fail, it put into perspective that many people even within the same departments are not on the same page. At a time like this it is important for both students and faculty to be actively communicating.

  48. With the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, schooling all over the nation and globe have succumbed to having to adjusting to this new way of learning and teaching. It is quite the change from how we have interpreted and gone through education for decades. At no point has schooling come to a technically based style like what classes and lectures have been conducted via internet connection and webcams. It has been a little bumpy for all parties alike, but the best way of adapting to the new way is through communications and comprehension from all sides. It is very important to abide by these actions, as now without physical lectures, both students and professors alike must speak up when understanding one’s point or voicing a question or concern in a certain context. If there is a collective effort in going about communicating at the highest level possible virtually, then courses can still become effective in the same ways prior to remote learning taking place worldwide. It is truly on us to make and continue to build an impact in adjusting to this new way of conducting education and utilizing the resources available to make the best of the circumstances brought on all of us.

  49. With the entire nation facing a new level of disturbance that we have never encountered; I find that school and education are one of the more stable factors in my life right now. The COVID- 19 pandemic has altered practically every aspect of society leaving people in troubled times both physically and mentally. Being a full-time student with two part time jobs, I am finding it hard to adapt to our new circumstances. Regarding education, I think universities are doing the best they can with the resources they have at this moment. This article describes 4 guidelines that the president of Southern New Hampshire University presents to best handle the transition from in person to online classes. One of the main points Leblanc illustrated was that higher education institutions must do whatever it takes to get through this time. These extreme conditions were unpredictable, and most teachers and students were not equipped to adjust. The transition to online classes happened almost overnight; I feel that if universities had more time to prepare, this sort of teaching will create a new wave of education. School will become more accessible and convenient for everyone, everywhere. One thing that I do think needs to be recognized is the effect that this is having on current students. This transition has impacted people on a global scale, and it has quickly taken a toll on student’s mental health. A student who formally lived on campus, focused on schoolwork and was used to constant social contact now find themselves living at home, finding it harder to concentrate and are isolated from society. While everyone is under these same conditions, students are being programmed to be the future of society. Personally, I believe in the long run online school is not as effective as a classroom setting. Depending on where you are learning during these times, the atmosphere is most likely not ideal. Being in one’s own home can create easier distractions and can limit ones learning ability. I do however believe that if one strives to learn and surpass such limitations, learning online may be just as efficient, but I do not believe this to be the case for most.

  50. The first thing that struck me about this article was that it was entirely based on the students. I had expected this article to focus on what universities would be doing to maintain their classes but I was pleasantly surprised that it had a main focus on how to help students and to be compassionate and understanding as this is not a business as usual situation. Another thing that stood out to me was the mention of the mental health of students. I often feel that this issue is glossed over in schools even though there are so many people that struggle with things like anxiety, depression, and stress and how that can take a serious toll on academics. While the school does have resources like CAPS to help students, sometimes there is not the same understanding of these issues in classrooms. I have only had one teacher directly address the mental health of his students and validate them as something that can truly affect one’s performance in classes. With the pandemic continuing and worsening, these mental health issues are on the rise among everyone, students included. I’ve recently read an article that presented data regarding the skyrocket in the number of people calling and texting the Federal Disaster Distress Hotline. The numbers are literally off the charts and the only thing even slightly comparable to the numbers that this hotline is seeing are from the time of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; however, even then this number is not even half of the calls/texts that they’re seeing today. The article also stressed the importance of universities being prepared for this to last much longer than just half a semester. They need to start planning for higher quality online learning rather than the MVP approach that is not sustainable in the long run. I know that most of my class have definitely been lower quality, which is to no fault of the teachers as most are trying their best and learning along the way. However, only three of my classes are doing video calls in replacement of the class itself and all but one requires me to show my face which usually results in me not paying as much attention as I would during and in-person class. While I understand that the changes that will need to be made in order to properly adapt to an online curriculum will require a lot of changes made on my part, the lack of structure is difficult for many students who chose an in-person university because they know that is the way that they learn the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *