Learning together in person is a gift, one most of us took for granted before. The opportunity to bounce ideas off one another or grasp something tangible in your hand is a key part of the experience of engineering education.
Hands-on experiences within the classroom and outside it are an important part of our DNA at McMaster Engineering.
And these experiences will happen again, we hope sooner rather than later.
But higher education has had to evolve rapidly, just like other sectors, to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19. Just a few months ago, telemedicine was uncommon and you met your doctor over the phone only if couldn’t book an urgent appointment. Now, many are finding a routine over-the-phone diagnosis just as effective without the prolonged in-person waiting room experience.
Several of us have adapted to working from home, finding new ways to be innovative and creative through virtual meetings, remote team tools and shared Google Drives.
Society is evolving, reshaping and transforming in the wake of this virus. So too is higher education.
There have been countless examples within McMaster Engineering in recent weeks of professors rising to meet this new teaching challenge. Engineering Physics is responding by sending kits to students so that they can complete hands-on projects this Fall.
Civil Engineering plans to spend more than 400 hours painstakingly filming and editing surveying and water labs to ensure you get the best quality virtual experience possible.
Mechanical Engineering is finding ways to ensure every student receives top quality online education by offering in-depth high-level training on how to engage students online.
Chemical Engineering is using milestone-based tutorials and coding exercises that will enable teams to collaborate and solve challenges virtually.
We are working with the engineering education tech company Quanser to create exceptional virtual lab experiences throughout our curriculum.
The courses your professors will teach you will be supported by teaching assistants, office hours and opportunities for discussion and feedback from experts in their fields.
The value of our courses is in our people and their expertise. That is what you’ll be tapping into every day this Fall term.
Beyond the virtual classroom, a team of dedicated academic advisors will be there to help you, as always. Our co-op office is ready to help tweak your resume and they are prepared to run virtual career events to help you land that next job. Our student engagement team is working hard with the McMaster Engineering Society and our clubs and teams to offer quality online programming this Fall.
We know that the circumstances we find ourselves in are unexpected and challenging for you, and also for our faculty and staff. In the spirit of who we are — engineers —let us consider this to be a time of innovation and problem solving.
During the Fall term, we are committed to doing what engineers do — iterating and improving our response to the COVID-19 challenge: your education. Our commitment to your learning and engagement will prevail whether you are taught in person or online.
That is our pledge to students.