Daemen’s Early Transition to Online Learning

COVID-19 update from the Erie County Department of Health.

By: Maximilian Moslow

Daemen College has transitioned to strictly online learning one week earlier than planned on Nov. 16, according to Daemen College’s President Gary Olson. 

In his letter to students and staff, he said this decision is necessary because of the spike of COVID-19 cases across the country and WNY. 

On Nov. 9, 2020, the Erie County Department of Health reported 446 new confirmed cases. This is the highest daily total we have seen in the county. 

President Olson stresses that despite all classes being online, “the college is not closed.” 

This is great news for students who live on campus and allows students to still have access to the library and other study areas. When the college shut down for the spring 2020 semester, students were not allowed access to these facilities. These areas are vital to student success since it allows a quiet area to complete class work.

Olson wrote, “the College will continue monitoring positive cases and exposures as they have been.”

Daemen College is tracking cases and providing the community with tools to stay safe. There is a contact tracing team available to staff and students to quarantine those who need to. 

Mason Smith, a third year undergraduate physical therapy student, said “I’m so glad the library will stay open. It’s too hard studying at home with both my parents still working at home.”

“It was really hard adjusting with all online classes last spring semester,” Smith said. “I think it will be much easier to adjust this time around.” 

“I’d hate to be in quarantine during Thanksgiving and the holidays,” said Smith. “I can’t imagine missing out on eating dinner with all my family this year.”

Students need these areas to help them succeed during this challenging semester. They’re allowed to stay open due to student’s following COVID protocols and wearing their masks. 

However, moving all classes online early creates some problems for students and their final exam schedules. 

Alyssa Kretschmann, a physician assistant graduate student, said “My anatomy exam got pushed back into December, and I now have to take that exam online instead of in person.”

PA students in gross anatomy lecture and lab were supposed to have their final exam in person before Thanksgiving. This course is extremely visual, and it pertains to learning where everything is in the body, which can be difficult to learn online. Teachers had to adjust their class schedules to accommodate for this new change. 

“I was scared of having my exam online now,” Kretschmann said, “but my professors are keeping us updated every day with their new plans.”

When classes were moved online when the pandemic struck in March 2020, professors had just one week to adjust to online teaching. For the fall 2020 semester, they’ve had ample time to prepare their material, which greatly improves student learning. 

“I think most teachers were anticipating this early shift to online learning due to the rising cases in the area. We’re getting close to finishing this semester!” Kretschmann said.

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