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Vol State science division adapts to COVID-19 required changes

Last updated on October 1, 2020

Changes come with challenges, picture provided by google image.

By Madison West

Throughout the past seven months, Volunteer State Community College has seen adaptations to the pandemic, including the college’s Mathematics and Science Division.

“It has been a strange adjustment not being able to have the face to face interaction with my students for them to be able to ask questions instantly if they have them,” said Jonathan Martin, instructor of biology.

“I’d much rather be in a face to face situation, but there are some benefits here,” said Professor Philip Clifford.

Zoom is a key element to this adaptation.

“The campus has done a great job to train us on Zoom and eLearn to better adapt to these changes as well,” Martin said.

Clifford has noticed that attendance in zoom sessions has not regressed. Clifford also records all his zoom sessions and posts them online for his students to go back and listen to. He says this eliminates the need for a review day, giving students more time to complete assignments and study on their own.

As far as labs are concerned, it seems instructors are doing things a little differently.
Rather than experimental labs, Clifford’s labs are all observational. This may prove less challenging to perform online than an experimental lab could be, as an online experimental lab lacks the “hands on experience,” he said.

Martin, who is only teaching labs online, says he has assignments using supplies that most people already have in their kitchens that replicate the in-class concepts in simplified at home experiments. “We do have labs on campus that are socially distanced, at reduced capacity, and wearing masks

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