New RTVF classes added as several production classes are canceled


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

RTVF classes adapt to pandemic, since several classes are too experience-orientated to be moved online.

Rayna Song, Reporter


Spring Quarter classes began this week, and while the Radio/Television/Film department introduced new classes, several production classes were canceled due to the institution of remote learning.

According to an email sent by RTVF chair Zayd Dohrn, the classes were canceled “because of the need for hands-on engagement with cage equipment and/or the need for on-set collaboration.”

Dohrn said faculty felt continuing the classes remotely would be a disservice to the students who would not become proficient with the use of certain cameras or equipment, thus putting them at a disadvantage.

“There were a handful of classes which were too equipment-specific or experience-specific to be taught remotely,” Dohrn said.

The canceled classes ranged from RTVF 190: Media Construction to RTVF 374: Digital Cinematography, and their cancelation impacted hundreds of students.

McCormick and Communications senior Connor Selna’s RTVF 376: Digital Musical Instrument Design class was canceled. He said this cancelation might impact his graduation, even though he still has one more year on campus.

“It could mean that I would have to overload in a later quarter,” Selna said. “Right now, I am mostly taking graduate-level courses… doing five of them in a quarter would be burdensome.”

Selna said it would be beneficial if the department could help him get into classes that were already full because he only had three classes after the cancelation and was having trouble finding a fourth class.

The RTVF department added new classes, however, such as RTVF 298: Personal Filmmaking and RTVF 298: Satire in Response to Crisis. The majority of these classes are taught by professors whose classes were canceled.

“We wanted to empower faculty members whose classes couldn’t be taught remotely, to think creatively about what kind of class would be a good alternative,” Dohrn said.

Dohrn said some students were automatically enrolled in the new classes if the canceled classes were similar, but they had the choice of dropping the class.

Communications sophomore Lauren Washington, whose RTVF 380: Lighting & Cinematography class was canceled, was able to enroll in RTVF 379: Post-Cinema Production & Practices taught by the same professor.

“There isn’t a way to have the class as intended since we need access to exclusive cameras … and time to film projects with peers,” Washington said in an email interview. “(Now) we’re exploring smartphone filmmaking and creating post-cinema media in response to a lot of the technological changes in the industry.”

Washington said she was thankful that her professor could adapt the original class to make it work despite the pandemic. She added she appreciates how the university offered support by giving students access to Adobe Creative Suite.

Dohrn said advisers are working actively with students to ensure they are able to graduate, and it is important to contact the department should the students have any questions.

In the future, the RTVF department will expand future class sizes to alleviate the impact of Spring Quarter class cancelations.

“We’re going to add capacity next year to make sure that all the students who were registered for courses that were canceled this quarter have access to those classes,” Dohrn said.

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