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Professors Share Their Thoughts on Clark’s First All Online Quarter

Before the quarter started it was announced that all classes were to be held online. As the spring quarter comes to an end for Clark they head into the summer and fall quarter with all classes being online again. For many students this was a new adjustment they had to get used to. As well for professors who weren’t used to having certain classes be online. 

Alexis Nelson, English Professor

Alexis Nelson, a professor at Clark, who teaches English 127 Non-Fiction writing, had to adjust to making this class online. She has taught classes online before, but not this specific class. It was not an easy process as she says. “No, I definitely wouldn’t say it was easy to set up online; the process of creating a new online class, even if it’s one you’ve taught face-to-face, always takes a lot of thought and effort. I had to reinvent many aspects of the class to make it suit the online format better.”

However she does say there are benefits of having the class be online such as giving introverted students a chance to share their ideas and shine in a way they might not do in a in person environment.

Another advantage of having classes online Nelson says is that online classes make it flexible to have time for family and exercising and other self-care routines.

For other professor’s this was nothing new as they’ve taught the class they have before online. 

Michael Ceriello, another professor at Clark, who teaches Political Science 111- National Government and Politics, has taught the same online class for 20 years. He says, “Setting it up was fairly easy, other than having to change from an 11 week term to a 9 week term. That required some tweaking. The fact that I didn’t have to work too hard to get my classes set up gave me more time to help my department colleagues get their classes ready (two of whom have never taught online at all, and in fact had never even used Canvas at all).”

A challenge Ceriello says was keeping up to a schedule as it’s easy to get distracted when physically not actually being in a classroom or office. As he has kids who were home doing online classes and getting them to doctor appointments.

Elizabeth Donley, English Professor

Another English professor, Elizabeth Donley, who teaches English 275 Advanced Fiction Writing, wishes she had more time to develop her class this quarter and will be spending much time in the summer researching different ways to approach this class online preparing for the fall quarter.

In the future after having most colleges doing the spring semester/quarter will the number of students sticking to online classes rise?  Donley says, “I think we’re going to continue to see a demand for online classes (we always have) but face-to-face learning is not going to go away…I do think we’ll see a growth in online learning.”

Overall she wishes she could’ve captured the writing workshop environment, but the engagements in the discussions worked pretty well. As she could tell students were reading the assigned works and giving their thoughtfulness and details in the discussions.

“I’m proud of all of us for making it to the end of the term, the students especially.” -Nelson

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