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Fall semester offers strong variety of class formats for all

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Aug 13, 2021

This upcoming fall semester, sociology professor John Tenuto will be teaching classes in three different formats: in-person, live over Zoom and traditional online anytime. Most classes were taught live over Zoom for the last year and a half, but now they’re being taken congruently with the other two modalities. College of Lake County (CLC) students are being given even more flexibility when it comes to how they learn.

“CLC takes the word ‘community’ very seriously,” Tenuto said. “What we do here is very community focused. We are going to do whatever our students need if the need is there.”

Student learning online via ZoomOver the last year, Tenuto believes the faculty at CLC have not only adapted to the online teaching world but are excelling at it.

One of the main challenges was finding ways to make teaching with a webcam similar to the in-person classroom experience, something Tenuto succeeded in by creating his own classroom in his home to teach from.

While all teachers can’t go to that extent, Tenuto thinks just attempting to make the online learning atmosphere more fun than sitting at a computer is all it takes for Zoom classes to be just as successful as in-person. This was something he believes CLC’s instructors did well during a tough situation.

“Instructors didn’t take spring breaks to work on the transition,” Tenuto said. “The uncertainty drove creativity, and the experience we gained set us up for the future.”

Tenuto says even after the pandemic is over, Zoom classes should stay part of CLC’s course offerings because of the ways they benefit students.

“Online classes are better for students who might have other obligations like work,” Tenuto said. “They can take the class at home and then go to work without spending time driving to and from campus.”

Classes being taken over Zoom also benefit students who might struggle in groups because of anxiety. Some like the social interaction of being in a classroom, but it isn’t the best for everyone. The more options the students have, the better chances they have at succeeding.

This year, as CLC adds back in 7 a.m. classes, the online live class Tenuto teaches at that time has the highest enrollment of his courses. He attributes this to students being able to take the class at home to get it out of the way, rather than having to wake up early to drive to campus.

Regardless of what happens with Zoom classes, Tenuto believes learning at CLC, and everywhere else, won’t look the same as it did before.

“We will never be back to the way CLC was in January 2020,” Tenuto said. “We will go back to learning in-person, but it won’t be the same. It doesn’t take people long to get used to things, and I think a lot of students have gotten used to how things are being done.”

Not only that, but he says the changes occurring or will occur would’ve happened eventually, but the pandemic sped up the process.

“Figuring out what’s best for the students has come out of this,” Tenuto said. “The process moved along faster than usual because of necessity.”

Registration is available online for fall classes. Classes start Aug. 23.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.