The Navy Senior Enlisted Academy has been forced to move to a virtual environment and out of the classroom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newport Naval Station, Rhode Island-based school has previous experience with online learning, but not to the complete scale under which it now operates. In 2015, seven of the 11 weeks in the curriculum were conducted online.
That said, staffers there said the present transition was made as smoothly as one could hope – albeit not without its share of challenges.
“Different time zones made this style of learning difficult, but not altogether impossible,” Senior Chief Aviation Maintenanceman Amy Santos, a faculty advisor, said. “I also noticed it was difficult for the students to open up in the virtual environment because they did not have an opportunity to develop a foundation of trust and understanding of their personalities like they would in a classroom.”
Santos believes that while replicating the live-classroom was not possible, the students still garnered a valuable educational experience.