By Linsa Dean
The start of the spring semester excited many Lewis and Clark Community College students. Emails from the bookstore, enrollment, and professors began to trickle into inboxes. On January 5, Vice President of Student Affairs Katie Adams sent the announcement that the first two weeks of classes would primarily be virtual. Some classes, such as hands-on art classes, remained on campus.
Other classes took on a variety of other forms: online, Blendflex, and Zoom. Many in-person classes are currently using Zoom and Blackboard to hold classes until allowed to resume on campus. This format might sound familiar as it has been used since the start of the pandemic.
Other classes are being offered fully online. Some courses are being offered as asynchronous online courses. They have an in-person counterpart, and can take part in the same Blackboard as their in-person peers, but with the bonus of being online.
A new format to L&C is the Blendflex format. This allows students to participate in class either in-person or via Zoom. One of the benefits of this format is the use of Owls. The Owl is a webcam that focuses on the instructor and the live classroom. It automatically focuses on who is talking in the classroom. This allows Zoom students to better experience the classroom while working remotely.
Assistant Professor Louise Jett, the Graphic and Web Design Coordinator, is an advocate for multiple modes of learning. Jett offers many of her classes with a Blendflex format, and some with an online-asynchronous option. When asked why she teaches with so much flexibility, Jett responded, “I love teaching online and face-to-face; I love teaching. I see the value in differentiated learning and allowing students the flexibility they need to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained and successfully complete the courses.”
The Hyflex classes that combine Blendflex and asynchronous learning are the future of the Graphic and Web Design program here at LC. Jett is working towards adding asynchronous learning to each of her classes with the goal of offering flexibility to students. Currently, three courses in the Graphic and Web Design program are being offered as Hyflex: CGRD-144 Adobe Illustrator, ART-161 Graphic Design 1, and MTKG-240 Social Media Marketing.
According to the LC press release by Laura Inlow, students enjoy the flexibility these modes of learning offer. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, there are many styles of learning offered on campus to help students be successful.