Forensics class changes due to COVID-19


Forensics is where students pick from a variety of speech and drama events to prepare and take to competitions, but COVID-19 has brought changes. Forensics is now online where students have to present their prepared competition pieces through the computer, and even recording and posting it to where it is judged.

“The biggest challenge has been doing online tournaments,” junior Chance Kohl’s said.

“For events like student congress and public debate forum they are done on a live zoom meeting but if you are doing speeches such as informative or poetry prose, you pre-record and post it online and throughout the week they will judge it and if you break finals you will perform it again on the weekend on a live zoom meeting,” Kohls said.

With forensics done in-person last year, it has been a big change to fully go online. With forensics fully online this semester, it can be challenging for students to reach their desired goal for the class.

“It is harder with these changes. For example, with my experience with student congress, it is harder to debate effectively on a Zoom meeting rather than being there in person,” Kohls said. “We’ve tried to become as prepared as possible because of the unpredictability of the times we are living in.”

Preparation for forensics when in person may not be as effective now that forensics is online. Also now that in certain scenarios where it is necessary to record their speeches and not perform live, it can change how a student goes into creating their competition speech.

“Now that everything’s online, I don’t need to have things in paper with me, bring money for food or drinks, and we can coordinate as a team easier,” senior Connor Casteel said. “I have recorded a speech. It’s a lot different. In the past, you would go up and get judged by a few people right after your speech, but now, the judging takes place over the span of a week. But I will also say some schools are still doing live speeches over zoom.”

Since COVID-19 has had such a big impact on forensics, students have prepared for competitions differently, and have had to present their speeches in different ways, but have still set goals for this year’s season.

“I feel students have adapted very well to all these changes with virtual tournaments, masks, social distancing, etc. Sad to say but most adults are the ones who bicker and complain about the pre-cautions. I wish young people ran the world over older adults,” teacher Tim Laner said.