When the Mexican government moved all face-to-face classes online this past spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the community English classes offered at the Todos Santos Center were one of several affected programs. But while many programs at the Center were cancelled outright, the English classes continued as a virtual offering.
Olaf Morales, languages coordinator at the Center, acknowledges that it was initially a challenge.
“Many [students] had never taken classes in this format,” he said. “At first, classes were not even about English, they were about digital literacies.”
Since mid-spring, English classes have been offered online, in the morning, three times a week. While in-person classes can accommodate up to 20 students per course — and frequently fill up — online courses were limited to 10 students to allow for a more engaged and effective learning experience.
Morales said there have been drawbacks of online learning in Todos Santos, including lack of access to computers, unreliable internet, and minimal community experience in virtual learning — but sees positives in increased flexibility and access, as well as opportunities for students to grow their skill set in technology.
“In general, moving from face-to-face to online teaching has brought a lot of learning on both sides: teachers and students,” said Morales. “I believe that online learning is here to stay. Most of our education nowadays and in the future will focus on digital literacies. I fully support the use of these resources since in my personal opinion, it can help students learn whatever they want, at their own pace and time.”
About the Colorado State University Todos Santos Center
Located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, CSU Todos Santos Center serves as the University’s international hub, providing research and educational opportunities in alignment with existing University curricula. Advancing CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach, the Center collaborates with Mexican universities and organizations, and provides workshops and programs for visitors and local residents.
CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to partner in the creation of thriving communities through experiential learning and the exchange of knowledge. For additional information, visit todossantos.colostate.edu.