Faculty check-in: Professor of Exercise Science Joyce Davis

Professor of Exercise Science Joyce Davis continues to engage with her biomechanics students during Elon's online learning period.

Transitioning to online teaching can take time and patience, as Professor of Exercise Science Joyce Davis has learned.

Davis set up a virtual classroom at home and tested its online capabilities with her neighbors, but “when all of the students came into the online WebEx class on Monday, my WiFi signal could not keep up. It was a no-go for students to see and hear me,” Davis said. “I abandoned that location and moved to the room where my router is, and we were able to start class about 20 minutes late.”

Davis teaches a section of her Biomechanics course to students via WebEx. (Photo courtesy of Joyce Davis)

That’s the kind of adaptability that comes with teaching a course more than 50 times. Davis has taught her Biomechanics class in the fall and spring semesters for more than 25 years at Elon. She says teaching a few of those classes online in the past has helped with the transition this spring, as the campus has moved to online learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Davis says it also helps that all her students are in the same time zone, have reliable internet access, as well as the necessary devices to keep classes engaging. Thanks to that technology, Davis has been able to continue class as normal, giving her students quizzes and homework assignments. She says she’s “optimistic” that students can still learn and achieve positive outcomes through the online learning model. And despite any difficulties that online teaching might present, Davis says the opportunity to continue interacting with students during these uncertain times has made the transition worth it.

“I thought about transitioning away from live streaming class to pre-recorded lectures,” Davis said. “But seeing and talking with our students in real time is giving me a sense of normalcy. And I need that right now.”

No matter what comes next, Davis is choosing to maintain a positive outlook as she continues to do her best to help her students learn and grow.

“You’ve probably heard of the five ‘D’s’ for successful dodgeball – dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge,” Davis said. “I’ve been trying to practice the three ‘A’s’ by Swami Sivananda – adapt, adjust, accommodate and everything will be all right!”