Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned.

As the coronavirus caused classes to shift abruptly online in March, Adam Golub did something likely familiar to many professors: He punted. He scaled back expectations for his two seminar-style courses, told students to work on their own, met with them one on one through phone calls or Zoom, and allowed them to finish up their projects as best they could.“I’m not proud, but I’m also not embarrassed. I did what I thought I could do,” says Golub, an American studies professor at California State University at Fullerton. “I was more worried about my students’ well-being: getting them across the
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The New Rules of Engagement

Jessica Su got her first taste of how challenging it can be to teach online when Covid-19 hit in the spring. The sociologist videotaped lectures for her first-year seminar on welfare, and hoped a discussion board could replicate the lively conversations she and her students had held in the classroom.Instead, what she saw felt more transactional. Students responded to her writing prompts. But she couldn’t figure out how to get a conversation going in the discussion forum. Even the comments that students wrote about each other’s posts felt dutiful more than engaging, says Su, an assistant professor of sociology at
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Students Cheat. How Much Does It Matter?

Douglas Mulford worried when his lab course moved to remote instruction this past spring. Mulford, a senior lecturer of chemistry at Emory University, had worked out a system for giving in-person exams in large classes. But with his 440 students taking their final online, he feared, it would be much easier for them to cheat.So Mulford set out to protect his test. He looked into lockdown browsers, which limit what students can do on their computers during a test, but concluded they were pointless: Most of his students had a smartphone, too, he figured, and could simply consult it instead.
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The Pandemic Is Dragging On. Professors Are Burning Out.

At first, she thought everything would work out if she just got up earlier. So Naomi Rutuku, an associate professor of English at Bakersfield College, began rising at 5 a.m. Her husband would make her coffee, then head out to his job as a wind-turbine technician, leaving her with a few hours of quiet before her kids, ages 2 and 4, demanded attention.She had a lot to take care of: four composition courses, plus a literature class she took on for extra pay after the public college froze a promised raise in the wake of the pandemic. There were dozens
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