Michigan State University Journalism Instructor Bonnie Bucqueroux understands how difficult it can be to get to campus when conditions are poor.
“I have a dirt driveway, a half mile uphill, and, in the ice storms, it’s absolutely impassable,” Bucqueroux said.
And with last year’s harsh winter, she took advantage of technology out of concern for her students.
“I could get out, but I worried about my students coming across campus. I said, ‘Today, we’re going to hold the class virtually.’ ”
Students attended through the streaming site, U-Stream.
“U-Stream has a special social stream at the side, where students can ask questions right in real time.”
One MSU Student would like to see more hybrid classes.
“Definitely second semester, because most of first semester is, kind of, warm, but once you get to the winter, it kind of stinks coming to class,” MSU Sophomore Sam Scimey said.
“When it makes sense to bring people together we’ll bring them together, and we need the brick and mortar to do that. That’s part of the university experience, having face-to-face interactions with your professor. But it doesn’t have to be every time. And it certainly doesn’t have to be time when it threatens the health and safety of everybody,” Bucqueroux said
And Bucqueroux says it’s a matter of safety
“I have cold-air induced asthma, and I worry about kids with various physical disabilities trying to come to class.
Bucqueroux said she fears for the safety of students and faculty members who have to commute from other places just to get to their classes. She said she wants to see virtual classes in place before something tragic happens.
“It really puts their lives at risk to go out on these highways to try to get here for an 8:00 class when the roads haven’t been salted,” Bucqueroux said.
And she doesn’t want the worst to happen before something is done
“And I’m afrait it will. We’re gonna lose somebody,” Bucqueroux said. “I had one student in my innovations class who had shattered her knee so badly that she had her leg on a scooter for the rest of the semester, and it was a result of falling on that ice.”