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Transition & Reposition: From teaching to learning

  • Monday, April 20, 2020
    Dr. LaShawn D. Nastvogel

    Editor's note: For many college faculty members, teaching online brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is a new frontier. Here is another essay from the frontlines.

    By LaShawn D. Nastvogel

    It came as a shock to us all when the university decided to end mid-term exams on Thursday before spring break. 

    My classes were fully prepared, confident and eager to take the exam so they could begin their spring break in mid-March.  

    While I feel the university provided faculty and students with enough time to transition to remote teaching and learning, a task of this magnitude still had its challenges.  

    Even as an experienced user of the Blackboard and Echo platforms, the barriers to implementing a remote structure still surfaced: work-family balance conflicts, internet service, limited online ancillary materials and restructured practical course requirements. 

    I can say with confidence I have overcome many of these obstacles. 

    In terms of adjustments for the hands-on class, I have students write detailed descriptions of what is required for selected exercises; I have students develop and chart specific exercise protocols. During remote lectures, I have students answer polling questions about what they would do in certain situations as it relates to exercise prescription. 

    Now, my next challenge is learning how to transition from teaching college students to teaching a five-year-old about such concepts as digraphs - think “ph” as in phone, consonant blends, glued sounds (letters that keep their individual sound but are “glued” together) and so on.

    Unfortunately, I do not recall any of these items from my elementary years.

    Can you imagine my frustration now? 

    I find myself studying “Fundation” lessons before my son wakes up for his educational session with me.  How weird does that sound?  

    Teaching my courses remotely is essentially not as bad as trying to simultaneously learn and teach five-years old their curriculum. 

    While the transition to online learning has its limitations, we must also respect and appreciate how we have been uniquely positioned to experience enhanced personal and professional growth. 

    I am truly thankful!


    Dr. Nastvogel is an assistant professor in the Department of of Kinesiology who this semester is teaching Sport Psychology, Socio-cultural Analysis of Sport and Advanced Strength & Conditioning as well co-teaching a (senior-level) internship.