T-minus two days to online teaching

Today was Saturday so work on my courses was sandwiched between grocery shopping in the morning and cooking meals for the week in the evening (plus a big pot of spaghetti sauce to share with my family). It was an uneventful day in preparing for my classes, which is reassuring.

The new piece I added in to my repertoire was a couple of videos capturing my problem solving process as I developed a few programs from start to finish. There was a lot of switching back and forth between the problem prompt, the editor, the compilation/run window, and the API documentation, but I only flubbed it once. I stuck with problems I’ve had students solve frequently in class in the past so I could try to incorporate I’ve seen students make into my code and they talk through how to figure out where the error is. I’m going to be very curious to see how much students make use of these videos versus more traditional lecture content (where I do code some, but generally not start-to-finish on a complete problem).

I’ve started to get emails from students working on assignments that were handed out before the break. It’s good to have that bit of normalcy back in my inbox. I’ve got an advising appointment scheduled for Monday and think there are a couple of students who may “stop by” office hours as well.

The big news today is that Commencement won’t happen in May – the current goal is to hold it late July/early August and seniors have been told they should mark that weekend as a tentative “save the date”. Hearing that announcement from our President was the first time in this whole situation I got teary – I had realized we wouldn’t be getting our seniors back together, but having it be official was hard. We’ve already started thinking about things we can do to offer students in our department some recognition and closure, even from a distance. I’m glad that the College is going to try to provide them with a celebration at some point, even if it’s not on the usual schedule.

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