Webex passes the test

Virtual software prove important tools for learning

Languages & Literatures associate professor Dana Prodoehl takes classes through the Learning Technology Center about how to use Webex features.

Brenna Bongiorno, Assistant Business & Technology Editor

As the school year starts at UW-Whitewater, the faculty, staff and students are all learning how to use the online platform Webex. Webex Meetings and Webex Teams are ways for students and staff to connect with each other while social distancing. Webex Meetings is an online meeting platform that can be used for audio chat, video chat, and sharing documents. Webex Teams is an online platform that can be used for individual and group messaging.

Covid-19 has caused UW-W’s classroom capacities to decrease to maintain proper social distancing. This means that a large number of courses are not able to be taught face-to-face. Languages and literatures associate professor Dana Prodoehl was seeking different ways that she can teach her first year English class because of the fact that her classroom is only allowed eleven students at a time. Luckily, Webex Meetings is able to hold up to 200 people at a time. Prodoehl is now being taught all of the capabilities of Webex so that she can teach her students virtually. 

“Having Webex is a nice tool and the Learning Technology Center has been doing a good job of making sure everyone knows how to use it,” said Prodoehl. “Webex is linked to Canvas so it works really well with our classes.”

Whitewater junior, Madeline Walsh, is a digital marketing major and she is also pleased with how easy it is to use Webex. Walsh adjusted to using Webex in the spring and now she loves it.

“Webex being connected to Canvas makes my classes much more organized,” said Walsh. “You get a notification when you have meetings so you don’t have to constantly be checking your emails for Webex meetings. One of my professors always posted the Webex meetings early and I knew I had to be there at that scheduled time.”

Whitewater junior Madeline Walsh likes the notifications from Webex and its compatibility with Canvas.

Whitewater students that are coming back to campus are more adjusted to using Webex than the freshman and transfer students. Joseph Brown is a transfer student studying political science this fall and is one of the individuals who will be learning all of the abilities of Webex while getting comfortable on campus. 

“Webex allows students to get that in-class feeling while being in a dorm room,” said Brown. “To be able to see my professor doing problems on the board is beneficial because I am more of a visual learner. You can actually mute other people in the meetings and individually talk one-on-one with your professor which helps me.” 

While nothing can truly replace the face-to-face classroom feeling, Webex is proving to be an important way for students, faculty and staff to maintain an effective college learning environment.