A New Perspective

Story by

Devonny Grajeda

Staff Reporter

A full-time English instructor, Tammy Wolf, said that teaching online can be difficult because there is still work to be done explaining concepts of online classes.

In-person classes allowed her the ability to explain topics face-to-face, which can be easier, she said.

She added that teachers do not like sending students “out of the shell” because an ad can pop up, making it hard for students to stay focused.

“It’s not fair to the students either in some ways because if you don’t love reading, now you have to read all your instructions, you have to read all the support materials… which can be harder for students who don’t read as much,” she said.

The two groups she thought that were the most affected were students who have never learned online and teachers who have never taught online, she said.

She said her biggest obstacle has been isolation. Most of the time, she is at home in her office, grading, which she said could be overwhelming at times.

Wolf said it was not until Christmas last year that she realized the pandemic would not end quickly, and class would not be in person for a while.

She said she misses seeing students challenging one another’s ideas or getting that aha moment when everything starts to make sense. She said that is why she wants students to reply to one another on discussions and ask questions.

She also mentioned how students do not get to see the passionate side of their teachers.

“We just turn into this robot that you’re emailing.” A massive disconnect is present between teachers and students, she said.

Wolf adds that students are tired, and everyone is dealing with so much amid a pandemic, she worries about students who are losing their drive to continue.

Compared to in the beginning when she believed that students as well as teachers may have enjoyed having a break and being online for a little bit.

“Now we’re over it,” she added, “but students need to just keep going, it’s going to get better, just keep going were all in it together, and I know there’s a real divide between faculty and students, but we’re cheering you on, and we want to see everybody succeed.”

ECOS and Dean Come Together to Improve Online Learning

Story By

Mark Graven

 Staff Writer


CNM’S Executive Council of Students (ECOS) met with the Phil Lister, dean of  the Math, Science and Engineering School at CNM, to chart a path forward in improving remote learning in science and math courses.  

Dean Lister, who engaged ECOS board members concerns at their regular meeting of March 19th via a Jitzi link, which students can access on Fridays at 2 p.m.

By the end of the meeting Lister said he would be contacting members of his faculty to encourage more lecture sessions with students, and more faculty/student interaction generally.

ECOS board members say they have been fielding complaints from students  that some on-line math and science courses lack a real-time lecture component in which students can ask professors questions to clarify difficult concepts.

Lister said he would like to hear personally from students that might be dissatisfied with their faculty interaction time, so that problems can be addressed.

“I want to hear from students”  said Lister.  “It can be scary for students to raise concerns.  I want to assure students that we are friendly.”

He said that some faculty may have had a harder time adjusting to remote learning in Covid times. And these faculty members could be given assistance.  

ECOS members suggested that professors with recorded lectures could share them with other professors that have had difficulty in on-line lecturing.

ECOS members have taken the position that recorded lectures are better than no lecture at all. The have also said that it helps science and math students to see problems worked on a whiteboard.

Lister said that not all students prefer lecture, but he agreed with ECOS members that courses, and sections of courses, that do have lectures, could be indicated in the course catalogue, or some other means.

“It is important that students know what to expect,” said ECOS President Alex Crossland. 

Dean Lister agreed with ECOS members that students had a right to know what type of learning experience they are signing up for.

Board Vice President Imane Bahji, who has spearheaded the ECOS’s effort to inject more lecture in on-line math and science courses, said she was pleased with Dean Lister’s responses, but that ECOS would still have to  “keep our eyes out.”

ECOS members said they want on-line improvements implemented by the start of the upcoming summer semester.

ECOS & Dean to Discuss Future of Online Education

By

Mark Graven

Staff Writer


Phil Lister, Dean of the School of Math, Science and Engineering at CNM has accepted an invitation to attend the next Executive Council of Students (ECOS) to be held March 19th, according to ECOS President Alex Crossland.
The EOCS board has been searching for a way of obtaining more interaction between professors and students in math and science courses in the remote learning process that has taken over CNM, during Covid times.
To that end the ECOS board members, at last Friday’s meeting, crafted an email inviting Dean Lister to meet with board members this coming Friday.  By the end of the meeting last Friday, Lister replied that he would attend, Crossland announced.
Dean Lister presides over a large amount of academic territory at CNM.  The MSE School offers degree programs in Biology; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Earth and Planetary Science; Engineering; Geography; Mathematical Science; Nutrition; Physics; and Pre-Health Scidnce; and non-degree programs in Astronomy and Natural Science (for teachers).
Physics course have come under particular scrutiny at ECOS board meetings because they lack a lecture component, according to Imane Bahji. ECOS vice-president.  
Bahji said that if difficult science and math courses are not going to offer lecture, or some other reasonable substitute for faculty student interaction, then CNM should say so upfront, so that students know what they are getting into.  
ECOS had previously contacted CNM President Tracey Hartzler, and met the the Faculty Senate, but did not achieve the improvement to remote learning that board members wanted to see.
Students interested in watching ECOS meeting with Dean Lister can go to My CNM and search for ECOS meeting link.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., as per usual with ECOS meetings.