DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – From kindergarten to college, students across Ohio are adjusting to the reality of online learning away from their classrooms.

Vincent Lewis, the Director of the University of Dayton’s L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, joined 2 NEWS to discuss the challenges that come with distance learning.

“For faculty, it’s really challenging when you’re teaching a course face-to-face and then you shift to an online format in a matter of days. Fortunately, we have a lot of resources and support here at UD to help us do that,” he said. “I’m finding that you really need to be empathetic to where the students are right now and some of the challenges they’re facing, because the stuff they’re facing are all the same things that we all see around us, so you need to kind of bake that into your coursework.”

Lewis makes sure to offer online office hours through Zoom so concerned students can still reach out with questions.

“You want to try to give them that same experience that they would have in the classroom or on campus where they could pop their head in your office and ask you a question if they wanted to,” he said.

While distance learning in itself has been an option for some coursework since before the pandemic, Lewis says this particular situation brings a socio-cultural shift. Instead of asking, “Why should I have a meeting online?” the question could soon be, “Why should I have this meeting in person?”