Faculty Reflections on Remote Teaching & Amazing Students

What happens to teaching at a traditional residential college during the Spring 2020 semester when suddenly, in a period of 2 weeks, the faculty has to pivot from in-person to remote teaching?

Here are reflections on remote teaching and learning from the CBE Faculty:

Chris Allison, Entrepreneur in Residence, CBE Co-Director

“Remotely teaching Business Literacy and the Economics of Entrepreneurship II using a synchronous method went well for two reasons.  First, we met during our regular class time and worked together in the same manner as we did when classes met in person.  My students really responded well.  Class participation and attendance was excellent.  Second, we modified content to fit the moment.  We studied how businesses are responding to the pandemic; how public health officials and business leaders worked together to combat other outbreaks, such as Ebola; health science startups as well as vaccine and drug development.”

— Chris Allison ’83, Entrepreneur in Residence, CBE Co-Director


Tomas Nonnenmacher, Professor of Economics, CBE Co-Director“I was very proud of the effort made by my colleagues and students to do the quick transition to remote teaching. The students had to juggle parents, pets, siblings, and other distractions — sometimes quite substantial — to keep engaged in the class material. We continued to have class three times a week over Google Meet, and attendance and overall participation were very high.”

–Tomas Nonnenmacher ’90, Patricia Bush Tippie Professor of Economics, CBE Co-Director


“Nothing is constant but change. Teaching remotely was a challenging experience, because while students were experimenting with remote teaching, they were emotionally facing a disruptive time. But it is the way you look at things that can change the things themselves. In my marketing classes, we follow the flow of change, and we acquire new content, tools and methodologies that will be helpful in the coming new business environment.”

–Gaia Rancati, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing and Neuromarketing, Visiting Professor IULM University Milan


Russ Ormiston“While those first couple weeks were especially hectic for everyone, I was so proud of how our students responded. Despite dealing with difficult circumstances and challenges, students almost universally remained engaged and focused through the end of the semester. Their ability to persevere–and complete excellent work–in the middle of a pandemic was remarkable.”

–Russell Ormiston, Associate Professor; President, Institute for Construction Economic Research


Professor Timothy Bianco“Remote learning was obviously not my students’ preferred method to end the Spring semester, especially for the Seniors. Their positive attitudes and eagerness to continue learning is something that ought to be commended. Unlike some of my colleagues, I took an asynchronous approach to remote learning. This was borne out of necessity because I had many international students, but the response that I received was overwhelmingly positive.”

–Timothy Bianco, Associate Professor, CBE Co-Director


Questions? Feel free to contact us at cbe@allegheny.edu

The Center for Business & Economics attracts Allegheny’s next generation of business innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a host of co-curricular activities that connect with and deepen their classroom experiences.