LCC sign language interpreter program connecting with students online

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– When the COVID-19 pandemic forced LCC to move to an online-only learning environment March 18, the college’s faculty made a rapid pivot to teaching virtually.

Many had never done so before and were accustomed to giving feedback to their students face-to-face in the classroom.

Refusing to let this unprecedented challenge stop her connection to students, LCC sign language instructor Lindy Browne got busy devising a plan to help her students move forward with their academic career and successfully complete their spring semester.

Browne turned to the online tool GoReact for assistance. GoReact is an interactive platform that takes performance-based teaching to a new level. Using this tool has provided Browne with the ability to provide feedback and critique of video assignments to her sign language students.

The feedback she must provide to her students is critical in the learning process. “When we interpret from English into American Sign Language, we are interpreting the meanings of words and concepts,” said Browne. “We need to be sure that students are producing the correct signs to convey the proper meaning and to render the message faithfully.”

While online college courses are not new (LCC offered some online classes prior to the coronavirus pandemic), the shift to online learning caused by COVID-19 meant preparing to teach online in a matter of days rather than the typical months of planning required.

Browne has been an interpreter for 25 years and has taught at LCC for 5 years but is teaching online for the first time.

When asked about the challenges of teaching in a virtual environment Browne said, “These are unusual times in our life experience, but time does not stop, so we must adjust. Although the switch to a virtual environment is a definite challenge, we owe it to our students and their education to make this into a positive experience.

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