A Q&A with former Saddleback professor Greg Bishopp

(Greg Bishopp/Saddleback College)

We are living in times were students have to make some changes when it comes to the way they learn and take classes. High School and College students all around the country are taking their classes online now.

Teachers and professors around the country have to make the change from teaching classes in a classroom to teaching classes online. More and more people are looking at the news to see what professionals have to say about the current situation.

In this Q&A, we have the thoughts about the current situation from someone who actually used to work at a college. Greg Bishopp used to work at Saddleback College, and his experience follows:

Where did you worked at?

Saddleback College

What year did you start working at Saddleback College?

Started as a prof. in 1977

For how long did you worked at Saddleback College?

I worked at Saddleback for 32 years

What was your position at Saddleback College?

Was the Dean of Fine Arts for 20 years

What do you think of colleges having to make classes be online because of the current situation, do you think this will have a negative impact on students?

Distance Learning Under the regrettable circumstance of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Saddleback College is well positioned to meet the challenge of offering a comprehensive curriculum to our District’s students. I do have serious reservations relying on Distance Education going forward.

There are ample studies that show the efficacy of this modality, but there are many more reasons to not allow it to be the only method of instruction. I am of the belief that the interpersonal dimension of interacting with with fellow students and faculty is a superior means to attend college.

There are ample content publishers and administrators who want colleges to rely on packaged courseware. It’s cheap. No need to heat and cool buildings, make parking available, or have onsite support personnel to help students with their collegiate experience. I admit to being “Old School” on this point, but the best friends I have today are people with whom I shared my initial college experience as a freshman.

Those are 50 year long friendships. I understand times have changed and fewer people can afford to spend an entire day at school, but I think isolating one’s learning to a room and a computer is sad and potentially dangerous. People learn from other people.

Screens and packaged homogenized thought is, for me, unacceptable. I had the privilege of being an in person lecturer at universities, private colleges, and of course community colleges. I worked for 32 years in the South Orange County Community College District, both as a professor and a Dean.

In all those years I wished there was more student/ teacher contact. Distance Learning is good and even necessary for now. My serious, hope, however, is that it never supersedes or replaces the traditions of the academy.