Coronavirus, Education

Teaching In Age Of Online Learning Presents Challenges For Professors

Emory University Assistant Professor Dr. Christina Crawford, Ph.D, teaches both her kids and her art history college students from home. Her 9-year-old son, Oskar Guthrie, photobombs.
Emory University Assistant Professor Dr. Christina Crawford, Ph.D, teaches both her kids and her art history college students from home. Her 9-year-old son, Oskar Guthrie, photobombs.
Credit Courtesy of Christina Crawford

Some Georgia universities are wrapping up final exams this week, despite the coronavirus pandemic scrapping lesson plans, easing grading criteria and forcing a mass evacuation of students from campuses nationwide.

One Emory University assistant professor told WABE that it’s been difficult to adapt to teaching a college-level art history discussion class online while homeschooling her kids.

And as the spring 2020 semester’s online learning experiment comes to a close, Emory professor Dr. Christina Crawford, Ph.D, is now preparing for summer online classes.

“The personal and professional balance has been extraordinarily difficult,” Crawford said.

“But this is something all of us are dealing with.”

She said that while students may be able to pick up the technology pretty easily, the biggest challenge is the learning environment – not being with the students for a discussion and to build camaraderie.

“Mine is very heavily a discussion class, and you still need that time face-to-face to become comfortable with each other, to trust each other,” she said.

“It’s also, and I think other professors are finding this to be the case as well, much more work to teach online than it is to teach in person.”

Emory University senior Sam Galloway is currently taking Crawford’s course and said online learning hasn’t been too difficult for him.

“For Dr. Crawford’s class, I really haven’t felt like I’ve lost a lot of the content,” Galloway said.

Crawford and Galloway both said when it comes to group projects, students have to be more creative and redesign ways to collaborate and deliver the same quality of work.

Both spoke with “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam to rate the school’s online learning transition.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.

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