WKU Faculty, Staff and Students adjust to new virtual reality

It’s been almost a full week since Western Kentucky University adopted a temporary new normal, transitioning to on-line learning the remainder of the semester.

Amy Bingham finds out how things are going in this week’s View from the Hill.

It’s already being referred to as the “COVID” semester. 2020 will forever be in the history books as the year the COVID-19 pandemic propelled the university into a new, virtual, reality.

Like millions of others, Christopher Shook’s dining room is doubling as his office these days.

“So far, I’ll be frank, it’s going much better than I anticipated.”

Also like millions of others, his co-worker has four legs.

“He might be the best co-worker I’ve ever had. (laughs)”

But for the Dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business, the business of learning is still going on.

“We all are very committed to students, we are committed to their success, being flexible using good judgement.”

The popular video conferencing app Zoom allows Shook to stay connected to fellow deans, faculty and staff.

“Learning curve was steep but we’re getting there.”

“We meet with other deans really quite frequently on zoom.”

Lots of processes are changing including WKU’s adoption of a pass/D/fail option for students this semester only.

“I think that allows students to get rid of all that stress with their GPA’s and stuff and make the best of the situation.”

Junior Frank Zheng says he’s used to having a few on-line classes each semester, but he still misses being on campus.

“The cherry blossoms are blooming right now so it’s a perfect time to be on campus and the face to face interaction with peers and professors.”

He says students and faculty are pulling together.

“I was in class while ago with a professor and it was his first time using zoom and everything. We used the chat feature to let him know we couldn’t see this and before long we have both screens.”

A short term way to reach long term goals.

“These are going to be stories we tell to our children and grandchildren down the road.”

“Together we’ll get through this and we’ll be on the other side and I can’t wait to see everybody in person.”

To get the latest WKU information you can log onto www.wku.edu/COVID19.



 
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