Academic technology helps students weather the storm

A group of Quinnipiac students study in the Carl Hansen Student Center during Superstorm Sandy. The center operated on generator power after commercial power went out during the storm.
Nov. 6, 2012 - When Superstorm Sandy swept through the Northeast last week, the storm's high winds knocked out power across the region, including at Quinnipiac's Mount Carmel Campus. The University was forced to cancel classes on all campuses for several days; classes were cancelled all week on the Mount Carmel Campus.

But the storm didn't bring all learning to a halt. Thanks to academic technologies including Blackboard, Camtasia Relay--a screen recording application--and other applications, many professors were able to continue teaching and offer academic assistance to students.

Being able to virtually access course material helped students stay on track and prepare for upcoming exams.

Bill Schweizer teaches a graduate course on live radio broadcasts, held on Thursdays at the studio of AM 1220 WQUN. Since the station had power, Schweizer opted to hold class as scheduled and communicated the announcement via Blackboard. "It was a good chance to keep on top of what we were doing," he explains. Most students were able to attend and appreciated the opportunity to keep up with the planned syllabus.
 
Robin Guisti, assistant professor of nursing, co-teaches a Health and Physical Assessment class for juniors in the School of Nursing. When her Tuesday class was cancelled, she knew that her students still needed the lecture notes to prepare for their lab the following week. She recorded her voice and went through her PowerPoint slides for that class using Camtasia, and then uploaded the recording to Blackboard. 

Students appreciated the extra effort. One student told Guisti, "I felt like you were right there in the classroom with us." In class, Guisti offers real-life examples peppered with humor from her long career as an acute care nurse.

The technology--and the support she received from Quinnipiac's Information Services team--allowed her to offer the same class experience to students without being on-ground.

"It gave me an emergency management avenue" to continue teaching, Guisti explains. With the winter quickly approaching, it's a road she may have to go down again in the coming months.

View more photos from the storm on our Facebook page.