Instructors aim to adjust to the virtual classroom

Valeria Roman, Features Writer

Frye holds a virtual class.
Contributed by Steven Frye.

Transitioning from in-person classes to digital has not only been a change for students, but for the instructors as well. Instructors have had to make changes to how they teach in order to adjust to virtual lessons while giving students a quality education.

Instructors are trying to make the best out of this pandemic by going above and beyond their abilities. They are having to learn how to build a similar environment to what they had in their classrooms.

“The biggest challenge is really maintaining the kind of personal interaction that is very important in a literature class, I really miss that. At the same time, I found that zoom is better than I thought it was, but I still really miss the classroom and miss working with the students one to one and talking to them on a daily basis,” Dr. Steven Frye, English professor and head department chair, said.  

Frye discussed how the faculty are working diligently to make sure that everyone has only the best virtual experience by hosting meetings with the instructors. 

“I teach Psychology 2030, which is Interpersonal and Group Communication, and we tend to do a lot of not only discussions, but activities that are more hands on to sort of grasp these concepts, which I think is a little bit lost. I just have to alter the activities I do,” Dr. Hailey Hicks, Psychology lecturer said.

Hicks shows off her work environment with one of her classes’ frequent furry visitors.
Contributed by Hailey Hicks.

Altering teaching methods has not been easy for some CSUB instructors. 

To Hicks, a positive aspect of virtual learning is that her students get to be in their homes. It makes them more comfortable because they typically have more control of their environment, and this can lead to participation of students that would typically remain quiet.

Dr. Charles W. MacQuarrie, English professor, focused on one danger of digital courses: technological burnout.

MacQuarrie holds a Zoom session while being visited by his furry friend.
Contributed by Charles W. MacQuarrie.

“I haven’t found it terribly challenging; I’ve been doing online teaching for a long time […] Zoom and Canvas or Blackboard, lots of ands. I get burnt out on Zoom, and I know the students do,” MacQuarrie said.  

Instructors understand that virtual learning can be stressful for students, as they continue to look for the most effective teaching strategies for the digital year. 

MacQuarrie likes that it allows him and his students to use a more self-paced model. 

Virtual teaching will continue in the CSU system until May 2021.

Are you an instructor at CSUB? Submit a photo showing off your digital teaching environment for it to be featured!