College of Business committed to student success

University shifts to online learning during COVID-19 pandemic

College of Business - Gregory Rich

By Andrew Addessi

Companies and organizations around the country are doing their part to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and Bowling Green State University is no exception. Earlier this month, the University announced that to protect the health and vitality of its learning community, classes would move online through the end of the spring semester.

“We are working vigorously to ensure our students finish the semester with no loss of time toward degree completion and that we maintain the high quality of the academic experience at Bowling Green State University, even in these unusual times,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers.

Faculty across every BGSU college moved quickly to provide students with the opportunity to continue their education and to access the services needed to support this online academic experience.

“During spring break, College of Business faculty moved all courses online,” said Raymond Braun, dean of the College of Business. “Our college is committed to student success and making sure students make appropriate progression toward their degree during this unprecedented time.”

In order to handle this transition better, the faculty held four sessions over video during spring break, discussing strategies and how to use different online programs, such as WebEx, to communicate with students.

“Certainly, we have to adjust. I prefer face-to-face and in person, but given the circumstances, I believe we can meet very effectively and interact effectively online,” said Greg Rich, associate professor. “There’s a lot of anxiety out there and it might put students in a bad state of mind, so we’re reaching out to them. I’ve given all my students my cell phone if they need to call and talk.”

Rich teaches three classes, one of which was already online. He still meets with his students over video at the time classes were scheduled, as he believes it is important to keep that stability of the classroom. His students “attend” class from all over – Arizona, Georgia, Texas – but for those unable to meet by video, he uploads the discussions and recordings to make things easy and accessible to all his students.

Peter VanderHart, professor and chair of the Department of Economics, is also taking steps to ensure his students’ success.

“The daily requirements keep them engaged with the material,” VanderHart said. “Hopefully the discussion boards keep them engaged with me and with each other.”

VanderHart is taking advantage of the online landscape, supplementing the discussions, lessons and readings with academic videos. He even purchased a camera and microphone to make his own videos to communicate important topics to his students. Aiming to increase communication with his students, he gives specific page numbers and highlights important information to make things as clear as possible for students.

Teachers, professors and all college faculty have doubled down on figuring out the best ways to help their students succeed in such an uncertain time, but through communication with each other and with their students, the College of Business looks to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“We’re all scrambling to figure out the best way to deliver the material online, and I think we’re each using different techniques,” Rich said. “We’re sharing a lot, we’re talking a lot, and figuring things out one day at a time.”