Instructors look to continue using technology after the pandemic



The J. M. Moudy buildings, where the College of Communication is housed. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Shaina Looker

Professors are adjusting to the challenges of online teaching and plan to implement new teaching techniques in the semesters to come.

Keith Whitworth, an instructor of sociology, said once everything is back to normal, he plans to record all his lectures and move to a more inverted class model, allowing more time for in-class activities. 

“I like being able to jump on a Zoom session with students to go over their exam and I will encourage students to connect with Zoom if they cannot attend in-person office hours,” Whitworth said. 

Jordan Doyle, an academic adviser for the Neeley School of Business and adjunct instructor in the communication studies department, said she plans to utilize D2L more in the future. 

“I used to always have students email me their assignments, which makes it hard when I’m also an adviser during the day and fielding emails from my advisees,” Doyle said. “Separating my adviser life from my teaching life is much easier using D2L.”

Professors have relied on Zoom’s features to help virtually run their courses.

“Teaching online allows the ability to use breakout rooms more effectively than dividing into groups in a classroom,” Whitworth said. “I can facilitate a breakout room within seconds and the students can go immediately into a discussion.”

Doyle said she thinks the silver lining in this less-than-ideal situation is that professors have all grown from a pedagogical perspective.

“I don’t think we will ever get ‘back’ to normal because we’ve learned so much over the past year on how to make our class more effective and efficient using technology,” Doyle said. “If anything, the classroom experience will be even better in the future as a result of COVID-19.”

Whitworth said he is satisfied overall with online teaching as this is the best solution available during this pandemic.

“I believe that TCU was wise to train instructors over the summer to be fully prepared to teach synchronously,” Whitworth said. “This is the best model to deliver the TCU promise of personalized attention, although it falls short of the goal.”