Virtual Realities


Student at computer

As the COVID-19 pandemic changed the complexation of lives and businesses across the globe, Cal Poly and the Orfalea College of Business moved quickly to adapt a polytechnic education to an online backdrop. Faculty and staff were able to convert nearly all classes and labs in the College of Business to meet the needs of the moment during the 2020 spring quarter, with only two weeks to prepare.

Instructors held lectures online, industry partners offered students their insight and guidance through Cal Poly Career Connections (a mentor-oriented networking platform), executives visited classrooms via Zoom to guest-teach, and even open house was conducted virtually, with nearly 500 prospective Mustangs attending the Orfalea session.

“We often remind our students that the ability to teach themselves new expertise and ways of thinking on the fly are vital skillsets,” said Orfalea’s interim dean Al Liddicoat. “As we’ve worked to scale for online teaching, while also ensuring safe practices, those same ethos are being applied across campus. Our response to this situation has required new technologies, workflows, and dynamic, creative thinking. In short, we’ve used the same mindsets we ask of our students to continue to educate them through this moment and beyond.”

“Our response to this situation has required new technologies, workflows, and dynamic, creative thinking. In short, we’ve used the same mindsets we ask of our students to continue to educate them through this moment and beyond.”