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Online Classes Running Smoothly in Week One, Per UM

This story was contributed to by Annie Sharp (agsharp@go.olemiss.edu).

It’s the first week of all online classes at Ole Miss. The university joined thousands of others in choosing to move to distance learning amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are hearing that it seems to be going about as well as expected at this point,” Jim Zook, chief marketing and communications officer at Ole Miss, said. “The arrangements and the logistics are a little different but everybody is doing the best they can to keep the class experience what it would have been in person.” 

Moving completely online is a new world, and even though things are going smoothly so far, Zook is expecting a few bumps in the road. 

“Our faculty has been incredibly committed and working hard during the run-up to get ready for this,” Zook said.

Professors are using video chat apps like Google Hangouts Meet and Zoom to create virtual classrooms that students can participate in.

Ethan Hassett, a junior accounting major from Dallas doesn’t think adjusting to this new normal is going to have a positive impact on his education. 

“I am more of an in-person learner. I like to, you know, ask questions and be able to work with others,” Hassett said. 

Still, he says he won’t let the challenges stop him from getting all A’s. He is appreciative of the new pass/fail grading policy Ole Miss is using this semester just in case technical difficulties threaten his 4.0 GPA. 

“Employers will understand if you take the P or the Z or whatever, but you know it still looks better if you tried throughout this. I do believe that regardless, this is going to put a little hurt on my learning,” Hassett said. 

It may feel like summer came early this year, but students are still expected to keep up with their course loads. However, they have plenty of time in quarantine to do it as many places have mandatory stay at home orders in effect.

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