SBVC Biology Professor Adapts to Transitioning Instruction to Online Format

Dr. Ann Marie Moreno worked overtime to ensure that her students could finish the spring semester successfully from home. 
 
Moreno, an adjunct professor in the biology department, said preparing to move from in-person instruction to online took "a lot longer than I expected and it was stressful not having guidance or time to participate in all the webinars and trainings." Although she wished she had more time, Moreno was able to quickly find her footing and learned that "a lot of the material was easier to adapt online than I thought." 
 
She was relieved to find that the first few classes "had a lot less issues than I expected and the students were much more engaged and present than I expected." Her students gave her "a lot of positive feedback on how I handled delivering the course," with the biggest problem being that "they didn't like taking exams online and I didn't have enough time to adjust the format of the exams to something better." 
 
At home, Moreno has a desktop computer, laptop, webcam, and reliable internet. About once a week, Moreno and two colleagues who also teach the majors course coordinate materials and content over Zoom. "I don't have children, so it has been easy to find a quiet space to work," she said. 
 
While the transition has been "pretty seamless," Moreno said, "the time commitment has definitely increased. As part-time faculty, we only get paid for our 'in class' time and not for any of the preparation for our classes." Being able to separate work from home life "has become blurred," she added, and the "emotional toll has been extreme." 
 
This summer, Moreno is taking a distance education online training course to prepare for the fall, and has "found that the structure and requirement to pass the course with a certain grade has allowed me to take it more seriously than randomly offered webinars." This has also helped her understand "what an online course should look like, and I would suggest the training for anyone serious about increasing the success of their online course."