From Classroom to Screen

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When the World Wide Web became mainstream in the mid-1990s, it revolutionized the internet. Many educators immediately embraced this new technology and began to creatively think about learning and teaching in new ways within their respective subject matter. It required an extraordinary amount of time and dedication to develop the necessary skills needed to create innovative pathways for effectively and efficiently teaching with and within this new environment. Students, in the beginning, had to quickly adjust to these new opportunities; however, individuals born at the start of the new millennium have never known a world without this technology. For the past quarter of a century, educators in higher education have had the opportunity to implement a plethora of new technologies that have emerged over the ensuing decades and the teaching/learning landscape has been transformed. In late spring 2020, the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic disrupted educational systems, and many educators scrambled to find the path of least resistance to teach their classes online in an asynchronous or synchronous format. This article documents the process of transitioning a visual merchandising class, offered for the past twenty years within an in-person computer lab classroom, to a synchronous virtual learning environment. Data from two sections of this class was collected over four semesters, and the findings presented include access to and navigability of the online class, pacing of assignments, time-on-task, student to instructor and student to student interactions, and quality of student work.