University Registrar Rodney Parks is having to get creative about how to teach his half-semester trout fishing class online.
“How do you teach a [physical education] class that’s focused on something like tennis or trout fishing or something? How do you teach something like that online?” Parks said. “There is an element of creativity to it. Each one of those is going to be a little bit different. In my class give them the resources and make them do videos based on what I provide as content.”
Elon University is scheduled to have 32 half-semester classes kick off the week of March 23, the first day of classes following spring break. Following the university’s decision to suspend in-person classes until April 6, half-semester physical education classes will begin online.
Parks is teaching three half-semester courses after spring break, one of them being an introductory trout fishing class. He said students can expect a regular load of work despite the course being online.
“You may see some pretty heavy work online. … I would caution students to say this is not a three week spring break. You’re gonna be busy,” Parks said. “The faculty designed it in a way that is truly replicating what they were doing in class.”
Jason Thomas, adjunct instructor in wellness and owner of Fat Frogg, teaches a self defense course and said feedback will be a challenge for his particular course.
“The biggest challenge I'm going to face is the feedback someone gets from working with another partner, another person,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to replicate punching, kicking, joint manipulation without being hands on.”
Thomas said he has spoken with an instructor for another physical education course about how to handle assigning work.
“We’re both referring to YouTube videos and instructional videos,” Thomas said. “Possible suggested reading, posting articles, that kind of thing. Which obviously is not ideal for an activities class.”
Junior Stefano Rulli, who has taken physical education courses in the past, says he is enrolled in a half-semester golf class. Rulli said he has never played golf, and he thinks instructional videos may be able to help him.
Rulli also said he will miss out on the hands-on learning an in-person physical education class has to offer.
“What I'll miss about the class is the ability to meet and network with new people,” Rulli said. “The other thing that I will miss is the small classes where you’re able to work one-on-one with the coach or the professor to improve your learning.”