An abrupt change, in-person to remote lessons

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Virtual classrooms are the new normal as colleges and universities made the abrupt change to online classes due to the Coronavirus. Hastings College is no different.

Hastings College's campus remains baron and quiet as students are now taking all classes online.

Block 6 began Monday for the Broncos, but campus has quite the different look. Fewer students wandering around, less noise and no one congregating in campus buildings. All lectures, discussions and projects will now take place online.

The change forced professors to alter their curriculum and plans for Block 6, trying to navigate ways to meet with students, meet the criteria and make sure content is still being delivered and received in an efficient and meaningful way.

It's a decision that was difficult to make but a necessary one.

"To be able to know that this is definitely the right choice for our students, as excruciating as it is," Dr. Kittie Grace, a professor of communication studies, said." I think just going in knowing that, that is at least making me feel better about that decision."

Dr. Robert Amyot, a professor of political science at Hastings College, knows that there is some room for error in this process.

"Everybody needs to be cut a break. We get to try different things and sometimes they'll work and sometimes they won't," Amyot said. "We have permission to screw up as long as we're trying hard and we're going to find ways to get through it. Not everything has to go perfect on the first day, we all understand that."

For students, staff and the administrators this is a change no one expected or necessarily has any experience in. There's a difference between teaching one or two online courses throughout the year or during the summer and running an entire Block schedule online.

Dr. Grace believes that for some students this may be incredibly helpful and no problem at all as they're used to being plugged-in and working on technology. For other students self-motivation may cause a problem.

Regardless, when Hastings College comes out of the woods, there are bigger lessons to be had, according to Dr. Grace.

"Regardless of how much actual content is learned the will be a larger growth in resiliency for all of us at the end of this."