This past semester I finished up my junior year of college in a way I never could have expected, and it wasn’t just unexpected for me, but for all students and professors alike. When I found out that I would not be coming back to my college campus after spring break due to the pandemic, but instead making a digital transformation and finishing up my semester online from home, I had a lot of questions. How were group projects going to work? Lectures? Finals? Would I still be learning the same amount as if I were sitting in a classroom? Needless to say, there was a lot of unknowns for everybody.
While every class of mine had to convert their lectures to recorded videos, some faced more difficulty. For example, in a class where we still had an exam and a final group project worth 25% of our grade left, there was a lot that the professor had to adjust. The exam required students to download a lockdown browser and attempt taking it in half the time on a new platform in order for the professor to ensure the honor code was not violated. The group project’s requirements had to be tweaked in order to allow for a virtual presentation and the groups of students struggled to find ways to collaborate on a strategy project while all in different time zones across the country.
However, not all of my courses faced this same amount of difficulty, some allowed for a seamless transition from in-person instruction to online instruction. My social media marketing class that used The Social Media Magnet curriculum was one of those. The bulk of this class was already an online, individual project- running our social media live practicums on our websites we had created. The rest of class just consisted of lectures where we learned about social media marketing strategies, read from our textbook, an online courseware that reinforced these concepts, and turned in assignments that helped us in developing our projects’ branding and campaign direction.
What this then allowed for as classrooms had to change in an instant to being completely digital was minimal required changes. Instead of the professor lecturing in person, they now just had to record their lectures and instead of turning assignments in during the class, we students just had to email our assignments. As a student, this seamless transition had many benefits. For one, I didn’t have to adjust to a whole new teaching style in order to still learn the content. Additionally, I didn’t feel like my learning was compromised due to a tweaked final project.
As a business student, I feel like I learn the most through the countless applied learning projects I have in my classes. While many of my group projects had to be compromised this semester due to the digital format of classes, The Social Media Magnet gave me the opportunity to dive even deeper into my courseware and live practicum. I was able to learn how to adapt a social media campaign when a major event occurs, such as the coronavirus pandemic, and saw firsthand how that can affect a campaign. The Social Media Magnet not only provided me with a seamless transition to a digital classroom, but with practical experience I can apply to any job I have in the future.