Challenges Posed by Pandemic Freed Pacific Professors to 'Shake Things Up'

“Flipped classrooms,” real-life physics problems, rethinking tests — Pacific University faculty members emerged from the pandemic with new approaches to educating students, enabled by new technologies.

These changes were highlighted recently in a report by Oregon Public Broadcasting, which focused on the way technology and enforced changes in teaching methods have freed professors to innovate in the way they teach.

Jennifer AntickPsychology Professor Jennifer Antick (pictured) no longer practices “sage on the stage” teaching, because the pandemic made it plain that watching a lecture online could be a miserable experience. Now she records lectures for students to watch on their own time, and her classroom time is full of conversations, as students discuss with her and with each other how to adapt the things they’re learning. She calls the revised teaching model “guide on the side.”

Physics Professor Todd Duncan said the pandemic offered “an opportunity to shake things up.” He has shifted him emphasis from traditional big exams to in-class learning, using real-world examples. He says students have become more engaged in learning physics, even the introductory classes.

With the shifts forced by remote learning, and the emergence of artificial intelligence platforms, it’s clear professors will continue to adapt, Al Weiss, founding director of Pacific’s Center for Education Technology and Curricular Innovation, told OPB.

Monday, March 13, 2023