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Professors go remote to engage students in 2020

USC professors stepped up in some pretty creative ways to serve their students during the pandemic. Meet a few of them and see how they did it.

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USC faculty members showed their dedication to their students — and their resourcefulness — by drawing on best practices for remote teaching in 202o. They quickly moved classes online as part of safety efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some even made national news for their innovation.

Meet several USC professors who thrived in the remote academic environment and found ways to keep college students excited and learning.


‣ Emily Nix:

“I’m not someone who wants to give my students a subpar experience. How can I best replicate the in-person learning experience online and make it engaging and exciting and cool?”

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‣ Jack Feinberg

“We couldn’t do really fancy-dancy stuff. But you can show the basic principles of physics with some really simple equipment.”

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‣ John Walsh:

“I can tell when students are getting fatigued because their eyes are rolling back in their heads. That’s when it’s time to get on the floor.”

Professor keeps his students on their toes, especially when they’re learning at home

‣ Gail Katz:

“I’ve produced a lot of movies, but nothing like this.”

How a Hollywood hitmaker-turned-professor brought virtual filmmaking to USC

‣ Patrick Corbin:

“If you’re working in the professional commercial world or concert world, you often use a hotel room to warm up. These are transferable skills. They’re just getting them a little sooner.”

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‣ Christian Grose:

“As the semester progressed, I witnessed firsthand the students’ knowledge levels deepen. By the end of the semester, the USC students were true experts in how to fix American democracy.”

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‣ Gorjana Bezmalinovic:

“I love helping the students. They like me, and I’m always in a good mood with them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Hands-on Topics Can’t Be Taught Online? Think Again

‣ Brian Roberts:

“In the face of all of this, you still have to get a show on the air.”

When USC’s TV station halted production, students and faculty moved their shows to Zoom

‣ Scott Tennant:

“We’re doing all of this for the students. They’re the No. 1 — they’re the only priority.”

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Interested in learning more about best practices for remote teaching? Visit the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching.

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Professors go remote to engage students in 2020

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