Several professors at Salt Lake Community College have faced trial and error as they adapt to online teaching during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Many classes at SLCC are structured to be face-to-face and weren’t intended to be taught online. Because of COVID-19, departments and professors have had to address the issues unique to their courses. The school has provided several online trainings on how to work technology such as Webex and Zoom, but some professors say the trainings came late or were less convenient than asking colleagues.
“This [virus] hit before I took the online technology [training], so it was kind of muddling through it during spring semester … throwing as much as you could on Canvas, and having web conferences and web demos and taking the online training after the fact,” said Keri Karabats, an assistant professor of culinary arts. “It was a trial by fire, teaching yourself how to present things and get things done online.”
Still, Karabats said, her department has been helpful throughout the pandemic and she feels supported by her associate dean and her administrator.
Gordon Dunne, an associate professor of English as a second language, said he hasn’t taken any of the offered online training since the pandemic began.
“I haven’t done any of the online trainings. I was familiar with online teaching and have figured it out by talking to colleagues,” Dunne said. “A lot has been experimental. A lot has worked and hasn’t worked. I have been using technology to the best of my ability, reorganizing a little bit and figuring it out as I go along.”
Dunne said he doesn’t have any complaints about online work and noted he’s seen fewer student in his classes.
“I hope for more students, to be honest,” he said. “I would like to increase my workload.”
Alison Arndt-Wild, a professor of communications, said she joined a Webex training early into the pandemic to help her teach virtually.
“Clear back last spring, I did do one [training] just on how to learn Webex better because I hadn’t ever been on the presenter side,” she said. “I had only been in meetings where I sat back and watched. So, I did know you could do screen sharing and all that stuff, but beyond that, I didn’t get a ton out of the training.”
Arndt-Wild said she would appreciate fewer requirements outside of coursework for professors during the pandemic and hopes the administration would take that into consideration.