Tri-C Director Discusses Transition to Online Learning
College took proactive steps as COVID-19 pandemic inched closer to Ohio
In early March, it became apparent to Tom Kemp that things were going to change in a hurry.
The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through Asia and Europe would soon arrive in the United States, and Cuyahoga Community College had to be prepared for a possible physical distancing scenario that could move many, if not all, classes to an online format.
Kemp, Tri-C’s executive director of online learning and academic technology, assembled his team for a meeting on March 3 to discuss the possibilities. Within a week, the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the Cleveland area, and Tri-C suspended all face-to-face classes for the remainder of spring semester.
Almost overnight, the number of online classes doubled from 2,500 to 5,000, and online students more than doubled from 13,000 to 30,000.
In a recent ideastream article, Kemp discussed how his team reacted quickly to increase the College’s online learning capacity, adding two terabytes of cloud storage and additional support to increase the capacity and reach of Blackboard, the College’s online learning system.
Tri-C has offered various forms of online learning since the 1990s, but Kemp noted that advances in technology over the years have made the current transition easier.
“With few exceptions, any course can be taught effectively online,” Kemp told ideastream. “Let’s say I'm doing nursing — I can capture the nursing student applying a specific procedure. I can also look at that patient's digital chart, or I can show the EKG.”
Kemp said the quick expansion of Tri-C’s online learning capacity will help prepare the College for the future.
“I think this has been a learning experience for everybody, both on the administrative and the faculty side. And I think everybody recognizes now just how important it is to have the infrastructure in place to be able to support the institution, especially for these kinds of things.”
April 06, 2020
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org