Online success for MCC students
Thursday / April 9, 2020
MARSHALLTOWN –Changes around the world have been occurring during the last couple of months due to the Coronavirus, and these changes have influenced how students at Marshalltown Community College are participating in their education.
MCC started making changes the week of March 13 while students were still on Spring Break, initially cancelling two days of class. By March 23 all MCC face-to-face classes went to an online format.
The change from in-person classes to online has been an adjustment for both the students and the faculty. MCC students Sarah Mattingly and Grace Rohrdanz have made the change seem effortless as they continue their successful semesters in the new format.
MCC Marshalltown freshman Grace Rohrdanz had taken one online class when she was a senior in high school before making the switch to all online classes on March 23. She is doing well but admits that it has been a transition, and there are a lot more distractions than when she was in a classroom. “My dogs pop in and out of my room, there are unexpected noises in the background, and Netflix is right there to taunt me,” says Rohrdanz. “Using Zoom is great, though, because I still get to see my friends and professors and have a “face-to-face” conversation. That’s comforting in these times of chaos.”
Rohrdanz has had a lot of support from her MCC professors during the transition. She praises them and their willingness to work with the students because they understand how challenging these times can be. “They are encouraging us to ask questions and are very responsive to emails. They have had to adapt just as the students have.”
Keeping busy with classes has been a nice distraction for Rohrdanz, who is keeping a positive attitude as she continues to finish the semester. “I’ve learned that the only way we will get through this is together. We may be distancing ourselves, but we are not alone. I still get to see my classmates and talk with them about normal things. Life goes on, and as students we are continuing our education like always. Another benefit is that I get to see my dogs and family a lot more, which boosts my spirits! All of this has shown me that together, we will pull through.”
Second year MCC student Sarah Mattingly of Garwin has quite a bit more experience taking online classes, having taken a fulltime course load online last summer. “This past summer prepared me for going online because of COVID-19. I had help from everyone, including the admissions office and instructors, to help make going to school online successful for me.”
Mattingly is doing very well in her classes and is a straight A student at MCC, but says she is still missing on-campus life. “I greatly miss the greenhouse and all of my horticulture labs on campus. I am able to conduct many of those labs in my own back yard, thanks to some tools loaned to me by instructors.”
With three children of her own at home, Mattingly has stayed busy even with the social distancing. “My children are also going to school online, and quite honestly we’ve all stayed busy enough to not get bored yet. My children and I have adapted quite well to this lifestyle.”
MCC Business Faculty George Johnson has had to adjust to teaching online, too. He says he is definitely missing the students and interactions with them, but is happy with how his classes are going and how students are adapting. “My students have jumped right in and gone to work. There has been no decrease in quality of work. I’m happy the students are doing well but I miss the smiles in the classroom.”