How university professors are dealing with classroom restrictions

By Muneebah Umar and Elisabeth Seage

Educators across the world have had to adjust to teaching in a pandemic for the past few months. For many university professors, this meant compressing the content of their courses to fit within a shorter semester that ended in November. Dr. Umar Iqbal, an electrical engineering professor at Mississippi State University, had to teach two courses using hybrid teaching for the past few months.

“I was teaching in hybrid format in Fall 2020. The semester was short, and in the hybrid format I was meeting my class only once a week. The rest was online. The in-person classes [were] a little different because we [were] required to remain a little away [from eachother]. But still we managed it. That was the succes,” Dr. Iqbal said.

“It’s easy to se on different this year has been, but seeing my dad made me realize how selfless and hardworking our professors are,” said Areejah Umar, Dr. Iqbal’s daughter and a fourth year student at MSU.

Dr. Iqbal used multiple platforms such as Canvas and Webex to organize his classes, especially since many students could not attend the in-person classes and labs. He tried to do everything to maintain as normal of an experience as possible.

“I was using Canvas for assignments and homework, whereas Teams software and Webex for communicating with the students. And that remained really helpful to remain connected with my class even remotely,” Dr. Iqbal said.

Currently, Dr. Iqbal plans to continue hybrid learning next semester, but he hopes that he will get to teach in person very soon. No matter what happens in the upcoming months he knows he will be more prepared to teach as effectively as he can.

“We will still [be] doing the hybrid learning. Me and my class is definitely feeling [a] little better with the hybrid learning now, but I, along with my classes, [am] looking forward for the day when we can meet together, in person for the fun activities and hands on experience which we are definitely missing,” Dr. Iqbal said.

Featured in video: Dr. Umar Iqbal and Areejah Umar

Narrated and filmed by: Muneebah Umar

Edited by: Elisabeth Seage

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on January 25, 2021.