Students and staff adapt to courses changing to online

With Del Mar closing all campuses through at least mid-April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college hopes to have most classes moved online by the end of this month.

In a March 18 email sent to students and faculty, Lorette Williams, executive director of communication and marketing, said most face-to-face courses will make the transition.

“All classes transitioned to online should be accessible on or before March 30,” Williams said in the email. “Students enrolled in courses requiring special accommodations will be contacted by course instructors on or before March 30.”

The college hopes to reopen April 13, Williams added.

Christina Venegas, a court reporting major, said switching her classes to online will be harder for her because her kids are no longer in school and her job shut down.

“I believe the transition will be relatively smooth on the educator’s end,” Venegas said. “There’s a lot of distractions for me, so I’m not sure how well that will blow over. Because now I not only need to focus on my own education, but my daughter’s as well since CCISD is talking about switching to remote learning.”

Delia Gonzalez, associate professor of court reporting, said switching her classes to an online program is a work in progress.

“Up to now we have only used Canvas as a support for our face-to-face classes,” Gonzalez said. “Many students felt that they wouldn’t do well online and so choose to do court reporting in the face-to-face setting, which is what Del Mar College offers. But now we’re having to upload our lectures and also find ways to have discussions and Q&A with students about the lessons. So, it is a bit of a change for the students, as well as the teachers.”

Joanna Perez, a biology major, said the change is affecting her negatively because she learns better in person than online.

“I feel it won’t be easy to learn in my English class online,” Perez said. “Although it’s an option, I did not pick it. I enjoy having my work in front of me and being able to correct it and have peers view it as well.”

Bryan Stone, professor of history, said he has never taught an online course and it will be a tough transition for everyone.

“We’re all being pushed into a situation we didn’t choose, and that can definitely be upsetting,” Stone said. “We’re in it together, though, we’re all facing the same hardships, and I expect faculty will all be as supportive, flexible, and helpful as they possibly can be under the circumstances. We’re entering new and unfamiliar territory, but faculty, along with staff and administration, will do everything we can to make it as seamless and worry-free as possible for our students.”

Stone suggests students to check their email and Canvas frequently during this time.

“It will be very important to stay in touch with your professors and to make sure you know how your courses will be delivered and what will be different than you were expecting,” Stone said. “We’re all racing to get online, and information will be coming fast and from lots of different directions. Make sure you get all the notices and updates from your professors, so you know what’s happening. Also keep in mind that each of your professors may handle the transition differently. We won’t all take the same approach or operate under the same assumptions.”

While not all classes at Del Mar College can easily transfer into an online course, professors will continue to review options for those classes and any special accommodations they require. Students should continue to check Canvas between now and March 30 for further updates and instruction.

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