What are some challenges and/or benefits you have encountered with teaching online? 

“There are so many valuable online resources and tools that have helped enhance instruction. The benefit is to the point where we will be bringing these online resources into the physical classroom in the future, with or without a pandemic influencing the classroom."

“The biggest challenge to being online is the loss of the personal connection with students. I can’t see their faces as much, read their eyes or body language and connect with them on as deep a level. Even with video capabilities, teaching interpersonal, relational and communication related skills can be difficult."

 

What are some challenges and/or benefits with In-Person learning only two days a week?

 “The benefits are easily that with fewer students it gives me more time with each student. Two days a week means students have two days of a student-to-teacher ratio that greatly benefits each individual learning environment." 

“As with the challenges of teaching online, the challenge of only seeing students two times a week is just that – lack of physical proximity. Our profession is built on using the senses - looking one another in the eye, relating to someone by standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and ultimately building relationships by walking ‘in-person” through an issue. Seeing students two times a week limits our ability to build relationships. Students feel the same way, specifically upperclassmen, who have in the past two years spent three hours a day, every day, in the Criminal Justice classroom with their peers."

 

What new safety measures have been put into place for students working on the shop floor and in the classroom this year?

“The wearing of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks) at all times, but more vigilantly during skill drills and practical exercises. Students have added greater emphasis on sanitation, but this has only been a minor inconvenience, as students in the program already are experienced at doing their assigned clean ups, as part of contributing to a team effort to maintain a clean and organized shop."

“Safety measures present an inconvenience to the program, but these measures are consistent with what those in the industry are doing as well, so it is an important lesson for students to learn."

 

What are some examples of new technology/new teaching techniques you are using with your students this year?

“Google Meet has been the most significant addition. It has been valuable to be able to bring remote students into the physical classroom with their peers, to record lessons for future viewing by students, and to be able to play back the recordings to analyze student or instructor skills and behavior. Google Meet also allows the sharing of a screen so videos, PowerPoint and other documents can be shared with students who are remote."

“The use of technology is increasing within the industry in forms of body worn cameras, in-car cameras, virtual arraignments/hearings, electronic citations, audio and video recordings of interviews, enhanced record management systems, and in many other ways. It is important to add technology, with or without the influence of a pandemic, and is another significant lesson students are exposed to during this new learning environment."

 

What are some positive aspects of the hybrid schedule that you foresee incorporating in future learning?

“We have done more in terms of “virtual field trips” and these are experiences that we will absolutely continue to use. Specifically, students have been “on the road” with me in a patrol cruiser, taken a tour of a magisterial district court room, and interviewed a local judge. Immersing students in real-world settings of this industry is perhaps the most influential way to teach students. Again, it is a way of learning that has been around but only has been amplified as a learning option because of the pandemic. With precautions in place to protect confidentiality and sensitive material, hopefully in the future students will be able to “tour” emergency communications center, judicial centers, police departments, interview criminal justice practitioners, observe public safety professionals during their training and witness public hearings.”

"One final positive aspect of the new learning setting has been the reminder that first responders continue to serve faithfully as the rest of us quarantine, socally distance ourselves and go vitrual. Our appreciation for first responders is greater because of the learning opportunities afforded us when we are needed to stay home. We remember first responders who are essential to our safety and do not have the luxury to stay home."