Walters State’s use of technology proved beneficial for student who faced a midsemester move.
Stephanie Webb thought her grade point average would dive when her husband’s sudden transfer took the family from Rogersville to the St. Louis area in late October, after the college’s drop deadline.
Webb feared the money she’d paid for the fall semester would also be lost.
“The move was very sudden. I was taking a full load, so I assumed I would have to drop everything. I was also very close to completing Walters State, so I wasn’t sure what would happen with my education,” Webb said.
Her fears subsided when she talked to here Walters State professors, most of whom immediately transferred her to online sections.
One class within her education major, “Psychology of Human Development for Educators,” was not available online.
“Walters State did not offer an online equivalent of this class in the fall semester. Stephanie had finished much of the work, so I met with other professors to see what would be the best option,” assistant education professor Darlene Smith said.
The best option, as it turned out, was for Webb to continue in the class via Facetime, a popular app similar to Skype that allows real-time communication using computers or iPads.
“This example of Darlene Smith’s use of an iPad is just one way Walters State faculty members are using cutting-edge technology to engage students. In this case, technology played a big role in helping Stephanie reach her educational goal,” Walters State Academic Affairs Vice President Dr. Lori Campbell said.
Using Facetime and an iPad allowed Webb to sit in on class sessions. Classmates who had previously sat beside Web now adjusted the iPad so she would have a good view of Smith during lectures. While Webb saw the classroom on her screen, her classmates could see her on the screen in the classroom.
Webb’s classmates were sad to see her move but supported her efforts to finish the semester.
“Stephanie remained our group leader even after she moved. She always made sure everyone was keeping up. She didn’t just use Facetime. She kept in touch with the group with emails and text messages,” classmate Jasmine Mathis said.
For Webb, completing the class on Facetime provided the convenience of an online class with the interaction of a traditional classroom.
“I really enjoyed the class. With Facetime, I did talk one-on-one with Ms. Smith and my classmates. Even though I had moved away, I got to know them better,” she said.
Webb now lives just inside the border of Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
With the fall semester finished and two years at Walters State completed, Webb will enroll this spring at Southern Illinois University to finish her bachelor’s degree in special education, a dream she has had since she was in high school.