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Several OU professors reschedule, cancel classes amid prolonged power outages, inclement weather

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OU campus covered in snow and ice Oct. 27.

After classes on OU’s Norman campus resumed remote instruction for the remainder of the week due to severe winter weather, some professors decided to cancel their online classes, as they or their students have continued to experience difficulty in connecting. 

Assistant history professor Jennifer Holland wrote in an email to The Daily that she pre-recorded the lectures and asynchronous discussion boards to continue teaching her History of Women in the American West and Oklahoma History classes. 

I thought students could use a little more flexibility right now,” Holland wrote in the email. “They will still get the same content from the pre-recorded lecture and be able to discuss the reading with their classmates on the discussion board, so I don't think they lose much in terms of material.”

Director of the OU School of Visual Arts and professor of art, technology and culture Pete Froslie wrote in an email he was “forced to cancel” his Experimental Art and Technology class due to “widespread internet connectivity difficulties” that didn’t allow for his students’ participation. 

“After experiencing internet connection difficulties, I emailed my students a step-by-step guide that walked them through beginning animating with object-oriented programming (OOP),” Froslie wrote in the email. “ I’m available over email/Canvas messaging to answer any questions they might have as they work through the activities on their own.”

As the OU community continues to deal with the consequences of the severe winter storm, Froslie suggested trying remote instruction and showing understanding to those without access to internet or electricity.

“Everyone at OU is focused on providing a quality education to our students, and making this possible in the midst of a historic pandemic and severe winter storm requires persistence and flexibility from all of us,” Froslie wrote. “I think that it’s very important that we communicate with one another about what our challenges are and work to be as flexible as we can — whether extending due dates, setting up short Zoom chats to review content that was missed, or excusing absences due to outages.”

Holland wrote OU shouldn’t extend the spring semester due to the weather conditions.

"This weather crisis is on top of the many crises of the last year. Throughout, we have all had to figure out how to make accommodations for those crises while still doing our jobs,” Holland wrote. “The thing I worry most about is the cumulative fatigue students feel after this terrible year, and that will affect their ability to reengage with classes.”

Marien López-Medina is an international student and United World Colleges alumna from Nicaragua. She is majoring in journalism with a minor in public and nonprofit administration and works as a news reporter for The Daily.

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