Senate discusses suggestion for in-person teachers to upload lectures


August Lawrence, Associate Editor

The Academic Senate debated whether or not in-person teachers should alter their syllabus by uploading their lessons onto the school’s learning management system, Canvas, during their meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

“There is concern that students in face-to-face classes for spring would also have the expectation that they would be offered class materials online,” Academic President Raeanne Napoleon said. “If they missed a class for any reason, they would be then given class content in an online, asynchronous way to make up the work.”

The senate is a consultative body that represents faculty and staff.

Currently, there is no requirement for teachers to upload lessons and lectures onto the Canvas page for their class(es). This triggered the question of equity among students who may not be able to attend classes because of reasons beyond their control.

“This would just be a recommendation,” Napoleon said. “This would not mandate the use of the language. It would not mandate any action.”

Science department senator Jess Estrada supported putting classes online in case a student caught COVID-19 and had to miss classes. The fear of falling behind would add pressure to attend class even if they felt sick, increasing the risk of infection on campus.

“I think we should encourage at least those that have the ability to be supportive to do it,” Estrada said.

School of modern language and English as a second language senator Robin Goodnough said she feared students who get infected might miss too much class and fall behind if lessons weren’t also posted online.

“We’re going to encourage people not to come to class sick,” Goodnough said. “If a student is exposed they will be required to miss a lot of class.”

Napoleon, who teaches chemistry at City College, said her department has classes that wouldn’t be easy or safe for students to perform unsupervised or work within their homes.

“We need to take this acid and this base, which are not common household ingredients, and mix them together and not blow your kitchen up,” Napoleon said as an example. “Dental schools were not accepting online lab components for transfer.”

However, Napoleon saw the benefits of putting lessons online. She said recording lectures has become second nature to most teachers and shouldn’t be a problem.

Science department senator Robbie Fischer argued that students should be held accountable for the classes they sign up for.

“It’s really important students know what to expect from a class. It’s important that certain classes maintain certain standards,” Fischer said.

They agreed the subject would be brought back and discussed in the next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10.