Welding program at RCC moves online during pandemic

The online program started a few weeks ago and will end in June.

Posted: Apr 22, 2020 6:16 PM

MEDFORD, ORe -- Students at all grades levels are having to make adjusts as they transition to online learning. That transition can be harder for trade schools and community colleges that base their curriculum around hands-on learning.

Welding instructors from Rogue Community College had to get creative. Students are not able to bring the welding equipment home. "Since we are not able to meet face to face, what we have done is we've moved a lot of our curriculum on to our online platform blackboard." said Anthony Knight. He is one of the welding instructors.

One of the ways instructors are using the blackboard platform is by creating videos. "It's kind of a collective effort." said Knight. Students watch the videos to learn how to weld and different kinds of welding. It will show the process from beginning to end. It also shows what a good weld looks like and one that doesn't. "It's not the best, you know. We are not getting out there and actually welding, but we can teach them theory." said Knight.

The instructors did not have much time to figure this out. Remember they've never done anything like this. "No way, this is just insanity. How can you ever prepare for something like this?" said Knight. Plus it's hard to tell if the students are finding success with the videos. They can quiz the students, but the students can't try the weld yet. "That's still kind of up in the air right now; that's to come." said Knight.

Knight is still one of the most positive people you can talk to. He believes this will have a positive impact down the road. "I do think that in the future the things we are doing now are going to be helping us." said Knight.

As of right now, it is not known when students will be allowed back into any classroom.

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