Faculty’s take on the switch to online classes

Photos taken by Haley Lingenfelter, Graphic designed by Hannah London on Canva

Professors at CBC say they are handling the switch from traditional to online classes well, amidst the spread of COVID-19.

Traci Caldwell, assistant professor of literature and language arts, has been following the events around the world regarding COVID-19, and she said she was happy to hear that the college was making the transition to online classes quickly.

“I have taught online for years, so it has been a relatively smooth transition for me,” Caldwell said. “I plan to go live on Zoom at regular class time and hold live office hours on Zoom, so my prayer is that all students will be able to connect smoothly.”

Though he initially had mixed feelings, Blake Duffield, assistant professor of history, said that he is grateful for the decision to switch to strictly online classes.

“On the one hand, I was incredibly disappointed that I would not be able to finish with my students what we had started together back in January,” said Duffield. “On the other hand, I was also a little bit relieved. Events surrounding COVID-19 in the US started to transpire very quickly and I feared for the well-being of students, staff and faculty on campus.”

Joel Slayton, chair of the Bible department, said he understands that steps needed to be taken for the safety of students and faculty.

“Instead of viewing this as a negative issue, I think that we should look at this as a new opportunity to accomplish great things for God,” said Slayton. “It’s true that we haven’t [been like this] before, but God can use this change in methods for good. I have discovered that while methods may change, truth doesn’t.”

Slayton believes that one of the challenges created by the switch will be student’s procrastination and lack of self-motivation.

“In the classroom, you can engage students face to face,” said Slayton. “If a student is faltering in attendance or assignments, you can immediately help that student to get back on track. Some students do not like online classes because they need that motivation.”

Duffield said that he has attempted to recreate the classroom environment as much as possible, asserting that consistency is important to him.

“This is all very different and, frankly, unprecedented, but it won’t stop us from fulfilling the mission of CBC—transforming lives through the integration of Christian faith and academic excellence,” Duffield said. “That purpose does not falter just because of a virus.”

Caldwell cited Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) as a message of encouragement for her fellow teachers.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” Caldwell said. “Even though this is new territory for many people, we are all in it together and we will help each other.”

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