Online learning

The question on everyone’s mind still has not gotten a definite answer. Professor Lori Pindar, director of undergraduate studies and assistant director of the Erwin Center for Brand Communications is unsure what will happen for the remaining of the year. “I do not know what is going to happen or how it will unfold, but what I do know is that we have been challenged in our role to be better, do better and be more strategic in how

we apply ourselves. I have my doubts but I also have my hopes,” said Pindar.

 

Just like most students, Pindar has experienced some anxiety going into a virtual school year. It is not the fact that she has no experience with teaching online classes, but the weight of teaching them under a pandemic and the many questions that come with that. Pindar said, “There is so much uncertainty about what is happening in general and that takes away from if I was in class I would help students manage their anxiety more. Now with the barrier of a Zoom call I feel it is less authentic.”

 

Pindar is teaching five courses and of those, only two are fully online with the remaining being conducted hybrid for when students return to campus. For the sake of her students she is trying to be as positive as possible in hopes that the feeling reciprocates. “Whatever happens I am going to do the best that I can and model behaviors that are positive, encouraging and hopeful so students don’t get fatigue with the current situation,” said Pindar.

As much as everyone would like to be in a pre COVID-19 world again, that is just not the reality. Pindar said, “Don’t kid yourself in thinking you're going to replicate the same on campus experience, but use this as an opportunity to see what kind of things you can do in a virtual setting.”

 

Pindar emphasized how important it is to be accountable for one another during these unfamiliar times. Whether it is making a phone call or going on a walk with a friend taking some time away from the computer screen is key for students’ wellbeing. From personal experience, Pindar suggests keeping a calendar to manage time and to keep organized. “Don’t just expect your phone alert to go off for class, write it down. Maybe keep two calendars, but don’t over plan yourself. Just know when and where you’re supposed to be for class,” said Pindar.

 

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