October 19, 2020

Media majors now online

Pandemics, distress, mayhem and a shortage of toilet paper. What a way to start 2020.

Many students are worried as NCC has decided to take an online route for the rest of the semester. Though this will require more motivation and dedication to studies, professors are sure this will work. They will accommodate students and whatever issues may be faced.

Every major will have its own difficulties and obstacles. Whether that is access to materials or tools, professors have set up a way for students to reach success.

Among the majors that affected, is the Media Majors. Professor Mario Acerra answers some questions students may have and reassures students that they need not worry.

  1. What are students going to do about access? 

Professor Acerra: “I am making all Media Production classes accessible on either a computer or mobile device. To accomplish this, we are augmenting the use of Blackboard with programs like Zoom and Top Hat. We know from previous experience that all of our students have phones and they use them regularly in classes with the Learning Management System Top Hat. We don’t at this time know if there are any students without any internet access at all. That would be a bigger challenge but the Media Production program is committed to helping every student complete their courses.”

  • What will these students do, such as media production students and others that need certain tools that the school has? 

Professor Acerra: “We are converting over to using Adobe products since Adobe is offering free software access to NCC students. In addition, a number of Adobe products are available in free mobile editions.”

  • How will equipment (film production, radio lab, camera checkout) be accommodated for?

Professor Acerra: “Equipment like cameras, TV studios, recording studios, etc. present a challenge. So, for this semester we will have to adjust our courses to accommodate this. Working with our Media Lab Supervisor Dracie Claus, we are making adjustments to all assignments so they can be completed at home with whatever tools the student has available. Our goal is to still meet the course outcomes even though the specific assignments will change. For instance, TV Production initially posed a huge problem. How can we do live studio productions without a studio? Well, instead students will produce live Zoom productions from home. Even the mobile version allows streaming and recording. And we will still teach concepts like lighting, composition, audio, etc. but within the confines of what can be done at home. An added bonus is that students are now getting valuable training in a field that is sure to grow as a result of this global experience. Similarly, Multimedia Production involves telling stories through photos and words. Now students will tell personal stories from home with photos taken on their phones and videos edited on their phones.”

  • Will students who were supposed to finish this semester and graduate still be on track? 

Professor Acerra: “Yes. We are absolutely committed to this.”

  • How will this affect your classes and your teaching techniques?

Professor Acerra: “In general, we have to be flexible and creative. In our program, we emphasize creative intelligence and although this situation poses great challenges to all, it also presents an opportunity to develop our creative capacities. We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of people singing and playing music from their balconies. That’s what we are going to do-sing from our balconies. But our songs will be videos, photographs, audio and all sorts of media experiences.”

End of transcript.

Acerra also had an important message for all students who are struggling to grasp this new way of schooling. Whether online schooling is new or students are worried about completing all work effectively and efficiently, professors are here to help you.

“Certainly, for anyone who is experiencing illness in themselves or loved ones we offer our sympathies and support. But we also want all of our students to know we are prepared for this transition and ready to help them succeed.”

“We will all get through this together,” said Acerra.

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