When University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced on March 11 that all instruction would be moved online in an effort to ensure the health and safety of the UK community due to COVID-19, the College of Engineering went into scramble mode. In less than ten days, it needed to transition over 350 courses to an online delivery format. What's more, faculty members used to lecturing or fielding questions in front of a classroom found themselves retrofitting living spaces and adapting course material to the online format.
"I teach Thermodynamics in 10 minutes...my stomach is full of butterflies and I’m actually anxious," tweeted chemical engineering professor Isabel Escobar. "I have not felt like this before a class in over 18 years! I want it all to work right so much because I want my students to learn! Wish me luck!"
But they made it work. From entertaining Zoom backgrounds to reassuring anxious students, faculty and staff members have continued to deliver a high-quality engineering education with their trademark can-do spirit and personal attention.
"Another #TeachAnywhereUKY week @ukyengineering," tweeted civil engineering associate professor Kelly Pennell. "One student works at a hospital—it’s intense, but they are ok. Another student is concerned about loved ones in a developing country. We listen. We learn. We show our care. We move forward with course content. #TeamKentucky."
Best of Zoom
Sure, faculty members can display their living rooms or home offices as they teach, but a few creative folks appropriated Zoom's ability to display virtual backgrounds. Gabe Dadi, associate professor of civil engineering, has chosen a different background for each class based on his favorite places.