Teaching Under New Circumstances
Lindsay Beddes, Ph.D., became a psychology professor at Western Colorado University for the personal student interactions, but since COVID-19 hit she’s still making the most of classes.
Dr. Beddes is from Utah, where she completed her undergraduate and master’s degree at Weber University, only leaving to obtain her doctorate in Greeley, Colorado and returning to work as a professor. She chose Western after deciding she didn’t want to stay in Utah, finding Western’s campus to be her best fit due to its “teaching university” style.
“I feel more effective with smaller groups of students; it creates opportunities for more meaningful interactions—especially in comparison to other universities where I had up to 120 students in an intro psych class,” Lindsay said.
Due to COVID-19, Beddes’ classes became less personal.
“I moved my office to my home when campus closed down and during spring taught classes over Zoom. No one expected this and our classes weren’t prepared. We did our best, but it was a major curve ball,” Lindsay said.
Building a Hybrid Course
Over the summer, however, professors were given plenty of time to plan for classes during this new way of life.
“I spent a lot of time preparing for the transition for the sake of the students and decided hybrid seems best. It allows students who are quarantined or working with vulnerable populations to stay safe while participating fully with class,” said Lindsay.
In this emergency situation, she said she feels the extra work brought by making the class hybrid is worth it and working well. She is especially glad she can still allow students to maintain a face-to-face component to their studies.
“I think the biggest challenge for freshmen especially is that they aren’t familiar with the systems we’ve began to use, and helping them access this new content is turning out to be a larger piece of my startup for the semester,” Lindsay said.
Author Credit: Jamie Rivera
Photo Credit: Katie Lyons