After the coronavirus pandemic derailed in-class instruction at El Camino College on Friday March 13, administration officials have not been effectively communicating vital information to the student population.
On Monday, March 16, ECC sent out an email to its students and employees with an update regarding COVID-19. The email listed the process by which in-person courses will transition into online classes.
The importance of personal hygiene is also stated in the email, as well as available food options that are open to students during the pandemic.
Although the email gives us plenty of resourceful information, what can be quickly lost in this update is that courses will continue to remain online from now through the summer 2020 session and, possibly, the fall 2020 semester.
Despite the reality that courses will be conducted through online platforms through the summer, and perhaps fall 2020, ECC’s COVID-19 Task Force did not explicitly include that vital information in the email.
The Union believes ECC administration officials have been inadequate, at best, with making sure the ECC community is informed about the drastic changes being made to current and all upcoming semesters.
This significant piece of information being overlooked is not the only issue with the email; it should have had an entirely different subject line focused about online classes, rather than being labeled a COVID-19 update.
It is far from a mere update on the pandemic’s effect on ECC. It includes crucial information about the transition from in-person instruction to online classes, which directly affects the more than 20,000 students enrolled at ECC.
If an ECC student who is currently on lockdown or quarantine read this email, why should they care about a COVID-19 update if they are already actively avoiding the illness? These emails need to be marketed better to students to not only make them want to read the email but also provide them with the most important updates and information with transparency.
If ECC administration officials really wanted their students under these conditions to understand how this illness is affecting their education, a better subject line should have included that courses will remain online through the summer 2020 session.
The abundance of information within the email about student resources still available during the pandemic would have stood better as a separate email from ECC’s COVID-19 Task Force or the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Furthermore, some professors have also been slow in communicating with their students about online instruction. ECC email and Canvas updates have not been sent to many ECC students, leaving them out of the loop on what is expected of them in their respective classes for the remainder of the semester.
Syllabi and deadlines remain unchanged in classes despite in-class instruction being transitioned to online platforms. Classes and students’ learning remain stagnant without guidance or updates from their professors.
When there are no standards being set in place by professors who are behind in communicating procedures for online courses, students should not be held accountable for missing deadlines and not turning in assignments in a timely manner.
At a time in which health and lives are our main priority, students should not be at fault for not meeting demands from instructors who have not been punctual in providing their classes with updates as these changes are being implemented.
The relay system of communication that has been followed throughout this outbreak has yet to be effective. Now more than ever, effective communication should be prioritized among ECC administration officials, instructors and students.
Editorials are unsigned and are written and voted upon by the editorial board.