Moving the university experience online
The responsibilities of a university professor extend far beyond the lecture hall. Professors collaborate with graduate students, teaching assistants, and other faculty members on planning curricula, leading research projects, and even writing books. With so many moving parts to keep track of, academic teams often end up with a gigantic paper trail of coursework, reports, and data.
When the tidal wave of changes from the pandemic rushed onto college campuses in the spring of 2020, faculty and students worldwide had to quickly pack their bags, dorm rooms, and offices and head home. All University of Oklahoma (OU) faculty members were required to work and teach remotely. If psychology professor Jenel Cavazos, Ph.D., hadn’t set up her lessons and processes with Trello and Dropbox, her research projects, course curricula, and plans for the semester would have been locked up on her physical desktop or external hard drive.
As the school year went on, classes fewer than 40 students could return in person while larger classes remained either fully or partially remote. Being in the classroom has its benefits for the students, but this hybrid model only created more organizational challenges for the faculty.