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VWU GOES REMOTE: Professor Maury Howard

This series explores innovative ways faculty are adapting instruction for remote delivery

University News | April 30, 2020


GoPro or go home!


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Maury Howard did both. She was in the middle of teaching "CHEM 345 Forensic Science Methods" and "CHEM 480 Instrumental Analysis" this semester, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted her traditional methods of instruction and prompted her to get creative with a new system of remote delivery.

“Both courses I was teaching are advanced and have significant lab instruction, so adapting the content for remote delivery has been a challenge,” said Professor Howard. “After giving it some thought, and thanks to my kids' avid YouTube viewership, I came up with the idea to shoot lab videos from a first person view.”

It was GoPro technology to the rescue. Through the use of GoPro, Dr. Howard was able to create and post lab videos --full-on lab procedures for forensics, and instrument "tours" for instrumental. With GoPro, combined with video-editing software and YouTube, she was back in business. Her hope was that this delivery would provide students with a hands-on perspective that they typically get in a laboratory experience.  

Dr. Howard says that she sought the students’ input when the move to remote instruction first occurred. Many of them were concerned about losing out on the laboratory experience, especially given the advanced material. 

“We've all had to adapt to the new reality of going virtual.” said Professor Howard. “The students have been quite patient as I worked to get the logistics of all this sorted out.”

The advanced chemistry classes meet regularly via Zoom, so students have opportunities to ask questions and get feedback and updates.

“I expect that the videos created for this remote experience will be something I'll return to in my future classes as supplemental information,” reflected Dr. Howard “They may also serve as a resource for other instructors.”

Read More in the Series:

VWU GOES REMOTE: Professor Paul Ewell

VWU GOES REMOTE: Professor John Rudel

VWU GOES REMOTE: Professor Katrina Henry