Meet superhero instructor Cassidy Strange

April 30, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. –  When Vincennes University shifted to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester, lab instructor Cassidy Strange immediately leaped into action.

Just like a superhero.

With instruction moving online, she needed to come up with a way of delivering technology to her students to allow for hands-on learning. The Product Design and Production Processes program coordinator and instructor wasted little time in exploring unique solutions to connect students with necessary and complex computer-aided design software.

Cassidy Strange, VU Instructor

“Computer-aided design (CAD) is one of the key skills that the graduates of the Project Design program learn,” Strange said. “It’s so fundamental to what they’re going to do for their jobs.”

VU faculty and staff have worked diligently to come up with innovative methods to teach previously in-person labs and classes.

“With the shift to remote learning, making sure all the students continued to have access to those computers was essential for me to be able to provide the same quality instruction that I could face to face,” Strange said. “I did not want to have to compromise the quality of the instruction that I could offer.”

That is why she spent many hours devising a solution. She was inspired by one student in particular. Until recently, the student didn't own a computer.

“I was trying to make sure whatever remote access system I put in place works across essentially any internet device that the student already has,” Strange said.

Access to CAD software is available to VU students in a designated on-campus computer laboratory, but the lab is off-limits since all learning has moved online.

Half of Strange’s students, who are learning to design products or special tooling required to manufacture new products, lacked the essential computer equipment at home to complete their coursework until she developed a cost-saving solution. The only thing needed is internet access.

Her students now have remote access to the computers and CAD software in the CAD lab using a free Google account and the free Chrome Remote Desktop app. Students sign into a Google account and they have full control over the computer and software in the CAD lab.

Joshua Dillow, VU Student

 

“I think Professor Strange has done the best of her ability to make sure us students are well equipped to finish out this year strong and I believe the software has played a big role in that,” said VU Product Design and Production Processes major Joshua Dillow.

Strange is a dedicated and passionate instructor, who is extremely committed to students.

 

Ty Freed, Dean of College of Technology

 

“It can be difficult for students to transition to online instruction when they are used to traditional classes and Cassidy has made a tremendous effort to keep all of her students engaged and moving toward their goals,” VU College of Technology Dean Ty Freed said. “She has found an avenue for remote login for her students and has also helped other instructors do the same. This has been a huge help for students that do not have the proper computer equipment at home to operate the complex software needed for assignment completion.”

Dillow has adapted to the change to a virtual format and is completing the rigorous coursework.

“Remote access was a great alternative and so far, I have been able to keep up with the workload for the class,” he said.

Strange’s efforts have also eased concerns students may have had regarding the sudden change to learning at home.

“The opportunity to essentially work from the same computer the student was accustomed to prior to leaving campus, has been a great comfort for most students and has really helped lower the stress levels associated with the transition to online learning,” Freed said. “Cassidy cares about her students and is willing to think outside the box to help students in any way she can during this unusual instructional format.”

Just like any superhero would do.

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