How biology and chemistry professors at FSU teach online

Zachary Connell

COVID-19 has caused schools and businesses to close down in order to slow the spread of the virus. However, many students are used to the on-campus atmosphere. Now, students must transition to online learning, which is a significant adjustment. 

Faculty and staff have been working hard to provide quality education in a remote format. It has not been the most comfortable process, but everyone is working together to give the best educational experience for the rest of the semester. 

Science professors, who were teaching face to face lab sessions, were forced to adjust to online due to COVID-19. 

I found an online simulation that I will be using. The lab students are doing right now is taking a short walk outside in a natural area near where they live and observing nature – plants, animals, fungi, looking for tracks, etc. Most of the students who have completed it already have said they enjoyed it. I will have them go back to the same area at the end of the semester and see the changes,” said Life Science professor Mary Lou Soczek. 

Soczek mentioned that transitioning her class online has not been too difficult. She did admit that chemistry professors have had it a lot harder than she has when it comes to lab sessions. 

A small number of students in Meledath Govindan’s CHEM 1000 class have been showing up for optional lab sessions, but he also recorded the courses so students could do the lab themselves. He has received six lab reports from his 14-person class last week. His BIOL 1001 seminar class is going well with almost perfect attendance. 

As for Chris Picone, who teaches BIOL 1900 and BIOL 3100, he thinks students are overwhelmed with the amount of work they are being asked to do. Tom Schoenfeld, Ph.D., suggested that professors need to remind students to manage their time well.  

Krishnamurthy, Ph.D., who teaches CHEM 2100 and Organic Chemistry II, is using Google Hangout for classes and office hours. Dennis Awasabisah, Ph.D., Emma Downs, Ph.D., and Steven Fiedler, Ph.D., also use Google Hangout. 

Liz Kilpatrick and Meledath Govindan addressed the subject of more emails being sent to both faculty and students. Kilpatrick asked her students, and they indicated that they prefer fewer, longer emails, rather than multiple emails. 

Chairperson of the Department of Biology and Chemistry, Meledath Govindan, provided a document of all the information professors are doing to transition face to face classes to online.  

Professors have been using application software like Zoom or Google Hangout to connect with their students. This process gives them an opportunity to continue their classes and to educate their students during these chaotic times.

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