BC Professors given the opportunity to go online for the first two weeks of instruction

Hugo Maldonado Garcia, Editor in Chief

Bakersfield College professors were given the opportunity to move classes online for the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester. 

The opportunity was presented by the BC President’s Cabinet to all professors to hold classes online. 

According to the BC Academic Senate President Nick Strobel, “we were just really trying to make sure that we are understanding the concerns of different faculty and classified staff and to give people that option of the two weeks if they want to, but it was not mandatory.”

“There’s some classes that really do need to be in-person like nursing, welding and the organic chemistry labs. I personally would encourage folks to consider that online option to try and keep the Omicron rates down. It is a real thing and we have to pay attention to it because viruses don’t care about any of our wishes. We need to respect that and take care of ourselves and our students” Strobel said. 

It has been a few years since COVID-19 first began and some professors might have needed a crash course on maintaining the structure of an online course again. 

According to Professor of Academic Technology Alexandria Rockey, “I run the BC academic technology blog and last week, I posted the four C’s of temporary online teaching. Which is a framework that we created to help guide faculty if they did decide to teach online for the first couple of weeks.” The four C’s consist of communication, consistency, care and content that are guided towards helping students pass their classes. 

Along with that, Professor Rockey published an article titled “Faculty Perspectives on Managing Temporary Online Teaching” that highlights faculty insight, videos, professor reflections and what it means to be teaching online temporarily. 

“We thought about how to re-envision content, not to just be lecturing on a zoom classroom, but how we would gain leverage on some of the tools on zoom like polls or breakout rooms or having students work on shared Google Docs. Things that we could do to make it really interactive and engaging” Rockey said. 

BC has a current 40% in-person capacity for its main campus classes and student services along with campus check-in stations to help keep track of how many students, faculty and staff that are permitted to be on campus. 

According to BC Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice, “we have approximately 475 face-to-face courses being offered on the main campus. Half of them chose to switch to remote learning for the first two weeks. Additionally, we have extended the opportunity to those who started remote to stay remote for an additional two weeks.”

“I’ve talked with other people in other colleges and universities and when it comes to BC it has done a pretty darn good job of trying to maintain the quality of the instruction, regardless of the mode,” Strobel said.