As many students return to school this month, schools are adapting to how they teach in class and online. Programs that teach hands-on skills face special challenges.
At Tulsa Welding School, the staff has found a way to stay hands-on and be online. Chris Schuler is the Director of Training for Tulsa Welding School and said the biggest challenge was how to translate welding to the web.
"Trying to teach a bunch of welders how to be virtual classroom instructors was a definite hurdle, and to get the students used to learning environment they were in and then bring them into a virtual learning environment that was a transition as well," Schuler said.
In some classes, instructors film welding projects, then send the videos to students. Tulsa Welding School's safety measures include checking student's temperatures, staying at a distance, cleaning off equipment in between classes and minimizing class sizes.
"Overall, I feel like people have taken it in stride," Schuler said.
At Tulsa Tech Health and Sciences Center, student Emily Boswell said she hasn't missed a beat.
“I didn't feel behind at all, my teacher always sent me what the class was doing so I was doing at the same time they were doing it,” Boswell said.
Labs are smaller, plexiglass is in every common area and students have more online tools. Campus Director Debby Peaster said she feels the students are receiving quality instruction because of the smaller class sizes and the enhanced antiseptic use.
"Our students follow industry safety protocol in the lab when they are engaged in hands on learning, and our instructors are from industry and know the protocols, so we make our environment just like industry," Peaster said.