Satire: Professor actually conducts class competently online
Students are not the only ones struggling to adapt to remote instruction
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.
Jean Coleman, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, has achieved the rare feat of making a smooth transition to conducting classes online, according to students in each of her three classes.
“Sometimes I think professor Coleman is the only professor at AU who’s ever used a computer before now,” junior Neomi Singletary said. “In my other classes, half the time we’re teaching the professor how Zoom works.”
“I was flattered when some of my students commented on how well I’m doing teaching online,” Coleman said. “But, I think it points to a bigger problem with AU not giving faculty adequate training for going online.”
University administrators have yet to tap Coleman for her technical expertise.
“We’re glad to see Dr. Coleman is thriving with the online learning environment,” University spokesperson Ingrid Adair said. “We would offer to give her a stipend to teach other faculty members how to deliver quality instruction online, but right now our primary focus is keeping enrollment up.”
Coleman’s teaching expertise extends beyond her command of technology. “When I go to her during office hours, she’s attentive and actually knows which class I’m in,” junior Brett Fox said. “Besides, she’s my only professor who knows how to work the video conference feature on Blackboard.”
Other students agreed that Coleman is adjusting to conducting online classes well. “It’s nice to have a professor who knows to turn off the microphone when they’re not speaking,” freshman Joseph Poole said. “I have a professor who always keeps his microphone on, so the whole class hears anytime he breathes heavily or takes a sip of coffee.”
“Professor Coleman is great. She sends out one email every Monday with all the information we need for the whole week instead of sending out a bunch of little emails at random times,” freshman Laura Hunter said.
“Most of my other professors talk at us blandly for the full hour and 15 minutes,” junior Tina Griffith said.
If anything, remote instruction has shed light on gaps in faculty members’ technological savvy and general abilities.
When asked why she thought other professors were not adjusting to online classes as well, Coleman demurred.
“Everyone’s doing their best. I know it’s taken me a lot of work to get my online class up and running,” Coleman said. “But I just think, if I were a student, I’d want my professors to be taking online lessons seriously and model professionalism.”
No other faculty members responded to requests for comment on this story.
Owen Boice is a freshman in the School of Public Affairs and a satire columnist at The Eagle.