Research Day shifts online to celebrate learning amid campus closure


For this year’s Research Day a new session called Expressions in Three will be added to allow students an outlet to express what they are learning during quarantine. Photo credit: Briana Ryan

Briana Ryan, News Editor

Marywood’s annual Research Day will be held on April 21, but as a result of the campus closure the event’s sessions will be held online.

Despite moving online, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Research Day Committee member Kate O’Connor said the event will still be similar to last year’s Research Day. These sessions will include:

  • The Research in Three presentations where faculty can talk about their current research in three minutes or less.
  • The Undergraduate, Graduate and Faculty Research Forums where individuals from each group can share their research projects in poster format.
  • The Big Ideas Panel where students can ask questions and attendees will vote on which they want answered by the faculty panel. Each faculty member on the panel will answer the question from their disciplinary perspectives.

According to O’Connor, due to the coronavirus the committee has decided to add a new session called Expressions in Three. During this session students can talk about what they’re doing or learning about in quarantine.

“We’re encouraging our students to talk about their transition to online and sort of being a shelter in place and how that’s affecting them,” said O’Connor. “Really what you’re observing about this learning about this. We know that students have a lot to say about how they’re coping so we’re opening that up this year.”

Although the committee wanted to celebrate the campus community’s work, O’Connor said the decision to move forward with the event was not instant.

“It took some thinking about in the respect that we didn’t know how to host it virtually,” said O’Connor. “What we did know is that we still wanted to keep students engaged and celebrate the wonderful things they’re doing across Marywood campus.”

To help adapt Research Day for an online format, Associate Director of Education Technology Katherine Fisne joined the committee. According to Fisne, the committee will use either Google Hangout or Bongo because students and faculty have been using these outlets for classes.

To facilitate the undergraduate, graduate and faculty forums, Assistant Professor of Architecture and committee member Michelle Pannone said she suggested the committee use a program called Mural.

“This program will simulate the way we’ve done these forums in the past where you have the person in front of their poster and you can ask them questions,” said Pannone. “With Mural all the posters will be on one screen and then you can scroll to look at them in more detail and actually comment on them.”

O’Connor said another reason why the committee decided to use Mural was because of their dedication to learning.

“Just partnering with Mural has been amazing,” said O’Connor. “They are designed to be used educationally as well as professionally, but they realize right now that with the demand of an online shift they are allowing us to use this for free because they just want to celebrate learning.”

According to Pannone not only will the posters be available to view on Mural all week, but the presentations and panels will be recorded to accommodate those who may not be able to watch them live.

Fisne said the process of transitioning the event to an online format demonstrates how committed the university is to celebrating learning.

“I think it says a lot about how much we love campus that even though we might not be able to physically be together we’re still able to find other ways to come together as a community to celebrate our accomplishments,” said Fisne

According to Fisne, although the university is working remotely classes are still technically canceled for the day.

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Twitter: @BrianaRyanTWW