Classroom relocations pose challenges for professors and students

Storms that hit the state May 31 left many homes and businesses without electricity and with extensive damage. OCCC was among those affected.

After suffering significant water damage to the Main Building and Social Sciences center, OCCC officials were forced to delay the start of the summer semester by one week and relocate several classes to unaffected areas of the college.

The change posed a challenge to some professors who were left having to condense their curriculum into the now-shorter semester and move to new classrooms.

Among those is history professor Melinda Barr who teaches classes both online and on campus. She said her main concern is her students.

“I think the biggest challenge for students in the condensed time frame is completing all the work,” Barr said.

“I am giving a pretty significant point bonus for students completing all the work by July 22 to give them an incentive to get all this work done. We want to avoid giving a bunch of incompletes.”

History professor Craig Ferguson’s class was affected as well. He said the relocation was a minimal disruption. He said students and faculty have made the most out of an inconvenient situation.

“Every one of my students knew ahead of time of the room change thanks to excellent communication on the part of the college,” he said. “HPC staff was particularly helpful as (Acting Dean) Tom Kraft had set up a table in the hallway and was pleasantly directing students to the appropriate classrooms,” Ferguson said.

“Signage also made the room change less of a problem than it would have been otherwise.”

Communications professor Julie Corff said the most recent storm was not the only one that affected her classes. She faced similar obstacles with her Interpersonal Communications intersession class, cut short after the May 20 tornado that struck Moore.

“I know that my students were able to rise to that challenge and overcome our obstacles in the intersession class, and finish with excellence,” she said. “Our OCCC faculty are very good at what they do and our students care about their education, so I have no doubt that come rain or shine — or tornadoes, our students will overcome and be successful!”

Barr said no matter the challenge, OCCC faculty, staff, and students have proven they will stand together to make things work.

“I’ve been here 23 years,” she said. “We’ve accommodated this kind of stuff before and nobody does it better than us.”

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