Online Classes Affect Faculty and Students

By Cristian Herrera

College of Southern Nevada took courses online in the spring due to COVID-19 and continued that path through fall term. The change to online education affected faculty and students in many ways.

Even though most courses fall 2020 are offered online there are still COVID cases popping up on the College’s campuses. According to its COVID page on the main website, approximately 115 cases this fall have been reported. Although that number is hard to read, online courses helped keep the numbers lower.

CSN faculty are impacted by this change to online instruction.

Shani Calhoun, a women studies instructor at CSN, had to adjust to all the changes that happened. “I’ve been struggling with the online remote thing, too.” 

Calhoun stated, “Usually my classes have discussion components, but the students are much less outspoken in an online class. I think one aspect of that is they’re just less invested in their classes when they are remote, but there’s also a shyness and reticence that usually dissipates once they feel more familiar with one another and that clearly can’t happen as easily in an online setting. That means that what is usually a discussion-based lesson now becomes a lecture and, for obvious reasons, students find that less engaging. That has been a very disappointing aspect of online remote teaching.”

Erik Schindler, a part-time instructor, spoke about missing his students from CSN. Schindler said, “I miss the interaction. I’m a teacher by trade. I work at CSN part-time and my regular job is as a high-school social studies teacher with the Clark County School District. The thing is, I am an online high-school teacher. I’ve been teaching fully online high school for six years. I don’t have the ability to interact face-to-face with my high-school students, so I have always prized the interactions I could have with my CSN students. COVID has taken that away from me. I still interact with my online students but it is not the same.” 

Students are impacted, of course, though many are finding it beneficial.

Genevieve Gruder, CSN student, adjusted to online courses well. “It’s pretty easy for the most part. My professors are pretty understanding and are not too harsh with grading: probably because of the adjustment.” Gruder shared she is doing better than she expected and is passing her courses with As and Bs.

“I prefer online because it works with my schedule,” said Vincent Medina, CSN student. Online courses can be easier to plan around for students with busy schedules. Medina went back to school after 20 years.  He said he is doing great. 

Shelon Jackson, student at CSN, expressed, “The biggest change about taking online classes is not being able to access things on campus as easily as I would if the campus was fully open such as the academic counselors.” She looks forward to the campus fully opening again soon and resuming in-person courses.  

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