Zoom Guise: Not exactly what you thought
Have students stopped wearing pants to class? Although students are social distancing, the online learning space gives virtual classmates a tiny window into each other’s personal spaces. But only from the waist up.
The virtual classroom has changed the way students see each other. And for all we know, professors are under the guise too. What looks like an office could very well be a quiet corner in a basement or a bedroom with a few certificates hung on the walls. Class lectures and discussions are generally the same, but the landscape of the virtual classroom has changed.
Today students are less worried about what pants to wear and more concern with background noise, lighting, and what backdrop to display. And this change in landscape experienced by the academic world is not limited to the classroom. The 28th Annual OPUS Awards banquet, originally scheduled for March 20th, 2020, was rescheduled as a “Zoom Virtual Ceremony” that took place Friday October 30th. Instead of a fancy banquet and dinner for over 250 guests to honor the recipients, just over 50 students, professors, and staff members logged on to a zoom meeting which in many ways resembled a class presentation.
Students graduating in 2020 faced a similar situation and you could say that this was the first year students had the option of wearing a nightgown to the ceremony without anyone noticing. At the first-ever virtual Convocation, like the first-ever OPUS virtual Ceremony, students were recognized for their accomplishments, but without the famous walk across the stage. (https://convocation.uwindsor.ca/)
Although we are farther apart, the Covid-19 learning landscape has brought us all a little closer. We now have a window into each others bedrooms and there is no need to wear pants.