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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

UP CLOSE | Yale Online: Can a remote education compare? | University - Yale Daily News

In front of a crowded bookshelf, history professor David Blight stands alone.

Photo: Yale Daily News
What was once taught in a packed lecture hall is now taught in an empty room, save for Blight and a masked camera operator. It’s his fourth recorded lecture on the Civil War. It’s the “Corona semester,” he says. A bright red bandana keeps slipping off his face.

“This is my handmade scarf,” he says to the camera, holding his bandana — a necessity during a global pandemic. “I wear it when I’m out in stores and so on.”

For the rest of the lecture, Blight’s scarf sits offscreen, as he speaks on the final days of the Civil War and the birth of Reconstruction. It’s a crisis that he knows well — one that is in many ways different than the pandemic currently ripping through the nation and the world. 

But in the next video, the camera operator is gone. Blight stands unmasked, and teaches in his office on a Zoom call that’s set to be recorded and sent to students. Even having a cameraman in the same room, he said, was too dangerous. He greets his students with a sigh...

French professor Alice Kaplan has taught about plague and crisis before. Now the chair of the French Department, she has taught some of France’s hallmark texts following the Great Recession and, now, teaches amid a global pandemic that has infected around two million people across the globe.

But the impacts of this crisis are markedly different, and her plans for the semester have shifted. The syllabus for her course “The Modern French Novel,” crafted well before the pandemic, includes Albert Camus’s The Plague — a 1947 novel about a virus that rips through a small French village in Algeria. She said she cannot teach the book like she has in the past. 


Source: Yale Daily News