With fewer in-person classes, both students and staff are getting ready for remote learning. Even though students have returned to campus for in-person classes this week, most classes are blended, hybrid or completely online.
Transition to online due to COVID-19 has impacted professors across campus. Professor Céline Perron in the Theatre and Dance Department had to reshape her entire syllabus due to COVID. “My course this semester is puppetry,” explained Perron. “This is a skill-based, hands-on course. Traditionally, I would have my students gather around a work table and demonstrate a particular activity or technique.”
Due to social distancing requirements, students cannot work around a work table as Perron had hoped. Instead, she has posted to Canvas a “series of instructional videos with step-by-step instructions on how to design and build a string marionette,” along with leaving labeled bins for her students with supplies they may need.
Dr. Wanda Swiger shared how lucky she was to get some time on campus this semester with her students. “[We will] have open spaces, like the gymnasium, to teach in, and we are able to run many of our courses normally,” Swiger said. “Our students are very excited to be back and to know that only a few of their courses are online, hybrid and blended.”
Professor Niall Moran has worked at Keene State for 10 years and was upset, as were others, that classes were pushed online last semester. He explained that learning online is no easier for students or teachers. Happy to return to teaching face-to-face this semester, Moran shared that “the classroom space and all of its complexities cannot be reproduced online.”
Other professors gained the experience of remote teaching from the spring 2020 semester (in which in-person classes ended early and switched to fully remote learning due to the outbreak of coronavirus), and the summer semester. Professor Michael Antonucci said that he will be using Canvas and Zoom to connect with his students. “I’m teaching all of my classes ‘in person’ this fall,” Antonucci explained, “but that means some sections have a remote component due to classroom size and distancing requirements.”
“I’m hopeful,” Antonucci continued, “and looking forward to actually seeing the students who I was working with last spring before we went home in March.”
Denise Ronan can be contacted at