Professor asks students to explore how faith is being affected by pandemic

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A professor at Manhattan College is asking his students to find out how different faiths are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dr. Kevin Ahern says he is slowly getting used to seeing his students from their computer screens. He says the virtual classroom is just one of the changes he’s had to make at Manhattan College in response to the virus. 

“One of the important moments that we have here is to use this as a learning moment for our students and to see the impact of this virus on religion,” said Ahern. 

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This week, he is asking his students to find out how the pandemic is affecting different faiths and is discussing their responses during their weekly Google Meet sessionsOn campus, he says they usually meet three times a week. 

He says this adjustment was made to accommodate those logging in from as far away as California and even Italy. 

“I've probably cut back on about half the class material in order to slow things down and to be able to connect with the students on a deeper level,” said Ahern. 

 

This is also pushing the professor to get more creative with assignments, like turning to apps for take-home tests. 

At the end of the course, Ahern says he wants his students to learn how relevant religion is, especially in trying times. 

“I really hope that especially these are freshmen and first years, that this is maybe one of the classes that they'll find community. That they'll find an ability to connect with one another even if they can't be in the same room as one another,” said Ahern.

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