Sashoy Milton is ready for the transition to remote learning.
The SJC Brooklyn biology major, who carries minors in chemistry and political science, already has experience with online classes. Milton enrolled in her first online class during her junior year with Matt Kubacki, Ed. D., former associate dean for student success. This semester, she is taking Environmental Ethics in an online format.
Her experience with online learning eased any uncertainties after the College moved all in-person classes to remote formats for the remainder of the semester in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“St. Joe’s has been good with communicating with students so far, and the instructions that were released to assist with online learning have been very helpful,” Milton said. “I was uncertain as to how my lab classes were going to proceed online, but my professors have eased some of my concerns by sharing with us how they intend to proceed for the remainder of the semester.”
As a student leader — Milton is the Senior Class Representative, acting President of Women’s Empowerment Club, the former vice president of the Student Government Association, and a member of many other campus clubs — she hopes her experiences will help students who may be nervous about learning remotely for the first time.
What she enjoys most about online classes:
“My favorite thing about online classes is the flexibility of the scheduling. I can log in at any time that works best for me and get the work done … It will be different taking online classes now though, as I have already built relationships with my classmates (from land-based classes). It will be strange not seeing them every day, but I really hope that we are still able to maintain that sense of community and support.”
Advice about online learning:
“The best and worst thing about an online class is that you have complete control of your time. I would suggest trying to maintain a schedule for each of your classes and sticking to it. This will help students avoid procrastination. Keeping a planner is also more important ever, especially if your teachers have decided to take the low-tech route. They will not be in class, reminding you that the test is next week — it will be up to you to keep track of that.”
Continuing to be a student leader in a remote format:
“I think it is important to continue to peer tutor during this time, as the transition to online learning can be extremely difficult — especially for students who were already having a hard time. With online learning, the student bears even more responsibility to understand new concepts and ideas from whatever notes or readings that have been provided by the lecturer. This can be extremely challenging in STEM classes, where a bulk of the concepts are mathematical.
“Without a professor present physically to walk through each step or new topic with you, the learning process can become even more stressful. For this reason, I think it is essential that as peer tutors, we do what we can to guide students in this difficult time, by not only providing extra time for the explanation of concepts, ideas and mathematical processes, but by also providing support as we too are going through a similar shift in dynamics in our own class and can relate to any struggles they may face.”
Students can connect with peer tutors on the new Math, Science & Specialty Tutoring schedule that goes live on March 29. A peer tutor can be booked via the portal app — it is the top one on the right side of the page (Advising, Tutoring & Library Scheduling) — then choose Brooklyn. Users may select “Tutoring” and tab down to reach the Math, Science & Specialty Tutoring one once it is activated. An option to select the Academic Center is also available for writing help.