Perspectives on Virtual and In-person Classes

Administration at The University of Scranton implemented a two-week pause in in-person instruction beginning on Sept. 19 and ended Sept. 30.

Both students and faculty were excited to get back in the classroom.

Professor Strain is a communications professor who teaches several classes ranging from a first-year seminar to a 300-level political communication course.

Professor Strain

Strain enjoys being face-to-face because it offers a type of connection that being online cannot match.

“There is nothing like the vibe and energy of being face-to-face with a group of students and engaging one another in some interesting and intense discussion,” Strain said.

He also said there are some challenges to face this semester, including lecturing with a mask on and trying to teach to both an in-class group of students and to those who have to attend class through Zoom because they are in quarantine.

“Effectively communicating with both sets of students is far more challenging than I thought, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Strain said.

Professor Strain teaching one of his classes both in-person and through zoom.

Professor Strain said he has been proactive in trying to keep in touch with his students during the uncertain times. Not only does he maintain communication with his students, but he also just likes to check in on them.

“I have been more proactive than ever trying to maintain consistent communication with students,” Strain said. “[S]tudents learning remotely need to feel like they are still part of the class in every way, so my outreach is more consistent and focused than ever before.”

He aims to be there for his students so they know they have someone to talk to or to motivate them when things get tough. He said he is proud of them.

“I am more optimistic than ever that we will get through the semester without more campus shutdowns,” Strain said, “I’m proud of our students [for adapting] to life in COVID-19 America.”

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New Majors in the Communication Department

This year, The University of Scranton added two new majors and minors to its Communication Department: business communication and social media strategies.

Business communication helps students learn to communicate and shape business operations.  Dr. Sufyan Mohammed, an associate professor of communications and research at The University of Scranton believes this new area of study is a “major for tomorrow.”

“Business communication is teaching you a higher level of communication,” Mohammed said.  “It teaches you communication from a strategic perspective and the appropriate way to communicate at different levels within big businesses.”

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