Using video technology to create a “Student Hangout,” playing “walkup music” prior to a class lecture, and creating a virtual saxophone choir.
These are among the online initiatives and creative things Wright State University faculty are doing to instruct students during the remote delivery of classes.
All in-person classes at Wright State have been moved to remote delivery through the end of the spring semester and most classes through summer semester to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Many faculty and staff have embraced the opportunity to interact with students online.
The Learning English for Academic and Professional Purposes (LEAP) Intensive English Program is using video technology to create a Student Hangout — a video lounge for Level 3 students where they can talk and work on things together.
“Instead of doing our usual final project of leading an academic discussion, we’re using this opportunity to teach students how to participate, present and moderate in a video conference, which will be a valuable skill set for both their educational and professional futures,” said adjunct instructor Pam Everly, who developed the lounge along with Elfe M. Dona, assistant professor of German and teacher education. “The Student Hangout also provides a great opportunity to practice speaking English outside of class.”
Music professor Shelley Jagow, interim director of bands, made a click track – a series of audio cues used to synchronize sound recordings – and sent it to her saxophone students along with a specified part they were to learn.
“They are each to submit a video playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue to the click tracks, and then I will layer them together to create a full saxophone choir,” she said.
Jagow also set up a virtual master class with her students and a Wright State alum currently teaching at the Las Vegas Academy for the Arts.
Amelia Hubbard, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, plans to hold her forensic simulation exercise for her Forensic Anthropology class, but do it virtually. She will recreate the scene via video and then have the students analyze the remains in a virtual lab.
In 2018, the class simulated a mock disaster involving an airplane crash on the Quad, mapping and spatially orienting the debris.
Jim Greenspan, professor and chair of the Department of Accountancy, plays walk-up music to start classes on his remote broadcasts.
“In baseball, players have specific music that is played when they walk up to the plate to hit,” said Greenspan. “Similarly, I have specific music that plays before I speak.”
Bobby Rubin, senior lecturer and director of the English as a Second Language Program, has always created Facebook groups for his classes.
“But it has really come in handy now because it serves as a quick and easy way for students and I to be in contact with each other,” said Rubin. “Of course, I’m using Pilot and it’s working well. But because Facebook is so ubiquitous, many students are there anyway.”
He said it has resulted in very good class discussions.
“And with just one click they can be in touch with me on Messenger,” said Rubin. “It’s serving as a very quick and easy means of both communicating and in having class discussions.”
Bud Baker, professor of management, sends news-related emails to his students three or four times a week, analyzing such things as the famous “Internet Tidal Wave” memo from Bill Gates in 1995 and one from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos exhorting his workers to keep the faith that they will be successful even against long odds.
“This is perhaps the most fundamental role of the strategic leader — to sense the future and to prepare his or her people for it,” said Baker. “Usually the vision is an appealing one, but sometimes it can only be honest and frank.”
Accountancy instructor Barry Holland has recorded individualized, 90-second videos and sent them to each of his students.
“I’m trying to make sure they know I’m thinking of them and encouraging them to remain fully engaged with our class,” he said.
Special Collections and Archives is collecting written and video stories from students, faculty and staff about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them.
“The goal is to preserve the stories of our daily lives during the crisis and to provide future historians, researchers and students with information and data on life in the Miami Valley during the pandemic,” said Bill Stolz, archivist/reference and outreach.
For questions about the project or to submit a diary, email the Special Collections and Archives staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.