Barry R. Palatnik, CPA, Stockton University
| February 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic subjugated the world in just a few months. This novel coronavirus altered the lives of people around the world and brought on many challenges for students and professors alike. Faculty who conducted traditional in-person classes were forced to change to asynchronous learning using a learning management system (LMS) such as Canvas or Blackboard (BB) or synchronous learning using a video technology such as Zoom. Regardless of their choice, faculty had to learn to deliver course content in a totally different way.
As COVID-19 started to spread rapidly across New Jersey, colleges started to close last March. Upon returning from spring break, I used Zoom to welcome back the students saying, we will get through this class together. Most importantly, I also prioritized their health over school by emphasizing patience and understanding of each other. I told the students to call, text or email if they had any questions.
Here are some strategies that helped me during the early days of the pandemic and could assist CPAs and others who are teaching classes now:
- Provide detailed chapter outlines.
- Reintroduce all the support associated with the course material.
- Use Zoom or other video conferencing software for office hours.
- Create a discussion board on Blackboard where students can post questions.
- Require students to read emails at least once a day.
Using Zoom was different then standing in a classroom. I could not see if students were engaged or if they were even viewing their monitors, so I created poll questions that were built into the Zoom program. To keep it interesting, I created a magic word, where students needed to listen and then upload the magic word. Both activities helped monitor student attendance and engagement.
With virtual teaching, it’s important to make sure students are engaged and learning the course content. However, I am confident that one day we will return to the classroom.