HAMPTON, Va. (May 28, 2020) – In response to the changed scenario that makes social distancing a requirement to remain safe from the effects of the COVID-19 virus, Hampton University held its 2020 Spring Educational Staff Institute on Monday, May 11, remotely through Zoom Teleconferencing. Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert, Chancellor and Provost presided over the institute with the theme of “Teaching and Learning Differently in the Age of Generation Z, Part III.” Faculty and administrators focused on pros and cons of how the transition from classroom instruction to remote learning has affected their students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By hosting our annual Spring Educational Staff Institute remotely, we were able to protect our educators during these challenging times, while still maintaining the high quality training and insight that each Educational Staff Institute provides to our world-class faculty,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
The Spring Educational Staff Institute opened with a discussion about transformational learning where panelists spoke about remote learning, online learning, hybrid learning and different methods of delivery. Hampton University faculty were encouraged to engage their students even more through the already existing service known as Blackboard, an online student/teacher portal, which can help educators increase efficiency, simplify workflows and amplify student engagement.
The panel also identified additional virtual tools to utilize during this time such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, which is a hub where team conversations, files, meetings and more can live together in a single shared workspace.
The academic deans from across the campus also conducted various faculty and student surveys to see how the transition went, according to their perspectives. Each dean reported on their respective department’s experiences.
“We found from student responses that 80% of students were satisfied or somewhat satisfied. About 20% were unsatisfied with the overall process,” said Dr. Sylvia W. Rose Esq., Assistant Dean of the James T. George School of Business. “Some common themes among students were that they believed the workload increased due to not meeting in person, and some felt like recording lectures would be helpful.”
Dr. Joyce Shirazi, Dean of the Hampton University School of Engineering and Technology, shared some pros and cons the students gave the department through their survey. “Some of the pros were they enjoyed learning in their homes. They could do classes remotely so they can multi-task while listening to instruction. They said the course content was not lacking, and even though the start of remote classes was rough, they got used to it pretty quickly,” Dr. Shirazi said. “Some of the cons were that the flight and air traffic lab classes had to be postponed because they require one-on-one instruction. They said it was hard to get in touch with other students regarding group work. Some felt it was difficult for students who learn better in person, and they felt rushed to transition to online learning. Our students also mentioned a recorded lecture would help.”
B. DàVida Plummer, Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications had a student conduct a study on the adjustments and raw reactions to the changes. She noted that, “Some of the students wish to stay more connected with professors. Others hoped professors would reevaluate syllabi. Most of them were grateful to faculty for providing tools and the study done stated the students were forced to have more self-discipline.”
“It was very beneficial to the faculty, hearing from the deans and the reflections of students as well in regards to the transition from the classroom to remote instruction,” said Dr. Haysbert.
The next Faculty Institute will occur prior to the start of the 2020 Fall Semester.