Acknowledging Her Professors: A Q and A with a Marine Biology and Environmental Studies Major

In this Q&A with Angelianne Recinto, she credits her professors in helping her transition to online instruction in March. She says, “HPU chemistry laboratory professors have created videos where they are performing the experiments. My laboratory professor has us watch the videos, take notes and data, and observe what is going on in the experiment, just like what we would do in the lab.” 

What’s been the most helpful technology in studying remotely?

Youtube and Zoom have been helpful applications when transferring classes to the online format. My chemistry professor, Dr. Wang, records himself, teaching with his powerpoints, and posts the videos on Youtube for his students to watch and learn. Every Friday, Dr. Wang utilizes Zoom as a virtual classroom session to go over sample problems that summarize the material we have learned from his Youtube video lectures. Also, in Zoom, students make use of the application IClicker Reef to do polling questions to answer problems that are similar to problems we will be tested on in future exams.


Tell us about your virtual classroom environment.

As a science major, the biggest challenge I have to face in transferring classes to an online format is being unable to attend my laboratory classes. Laboratory classes are essential as they involve engaging with the material learned in lectures through the performance of experiments, tests, or dissections. Even though we have to miss out on the hands-on experience in a typical laboratory classroom, my laboratory professors are doing a wonderful job in helping us understand the material we are learning from our lectures. For example, HPU chemistry laboratory professors have created videos where they are performing the experiments. My laboratory professor has us watch the videos, take notes and data, and observe what is going on in the experiment, just like what we would do in the lab.

When you are not studying or working, how are you and your roommates, friends, or family filling the time?

I make use of my free time bonding with my friends and family. My roommates and I would binge-watch our favorite shows, eat lots of pizza, and play Cards Against Humanity. I also make use of phone or video calls to friends that have gone back home and to my family, whom I will see very soon.

What are you looking forward to the most when we get past our sheltering and distancing?

What I miss the most is adventuring to popular places in Hawai‘i with friends. I would go on hikes such as the Maunawili Falls Trail or the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. I would also try out delicious food places such as Giovanni’s and Leonard’s Bakery. I especially loved going to the Hawai’i Spotlight events HPU hosts, where it provides opportunities for students to explore different parts of the island and learn about the Hawaiian culture and the community we live in. I look forward to appreciating the beautiful place Hawai‘i is once we get past our sheltering and distancing.

We are doing so much more online, out of necessity. Do you think any of it will continue by choice after we return to normal?

Because we are doing many things, such as our classes online, it will allow students to experience what it is like to take an online class. I know that many are struggling because they aren’t used to online classes, let alone have all their classes online. Lacking the face-to-face interactions with your professors and fellow students may be a challenge, especially in laboratory classes. However, taking courses online allows you to pace yourself in readings and assignments, giving you flexible time to do your work when needed. It builds up your time management skills and organization and makes use of the technology we have today. Thus, I would say COVID-19 may either encourage or discourage students from taking more online classes in the future.