Faculty ‘Zoom’ into online classes

Cal State LA faculty respond to the shift to online

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Photo courtesy of Jamie Lee Finch

Isaac Gutierrez and Rosio Flores

Hands-on classes are feeling the impact of Cal State LA’s online shift. 

Tanya Kane-Parry, a Theater and Dance professor, however, was able to find the bright side in the switch to online classes: An opportunity for aspiring actors to practice self-taping. 

“We are looking at holistic learning, combining research and writing assignments with solo performance work, self-taping to upload to Canvas to then share comments and feedback within the class via Canvas as well,” said Kane-Parry. “As self-taping has been a new industry-standard practice in actor auditions for television and film projects, this move to remote teaching/learning offers us the opportunity to help the students build these particular skills to prepare them for the professional realm.”

Some professors in the Television, Film and Media Studies department held a meeting to discuss strategies on how to adapt their classes to the shift.

“The production faculty suspended all the ongoing projects and any assignment that needed in-person collaboration. We are trying to be creative, and share ideas on how we are redesigning our curriculum,” said Cal State LA TVF professor Nidhin Patel in an email. He further explained how crucial it is for students to have access to equipment and the faculty are actively looking for ways to supply that for those in need.

Things aren’t as tough for more lecture-based courses. With the help of the app “Zoom,” professors can lecture while being ”Safe at Home.” 

“I’ll use Zoom for face-to-face interactions,” said marketing professor Jeffrey E. Anderson. “Most of the time, I have my students call me if the message can’t be reached through email.” 

Anderson explained how he prepared for this transition and how his lectures won’t be affected as much. “I already teach an online class, so I know how to put all the resources online and administer the content,” he said. 

Although campus will be closed, students can still rely on resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services, which now offers teletherapy, by calling (323) 343-3300. The Student Health Center can be reached at (323) 343-3300. Appointments should be made prior to visiting the center. 

The Office of Students with Disabilities now offers Zoom or phone consultations and can be reached at (323) 343-3140.