Classes may need to pivot fully online
Essence Boyd – Online Editor
The university needs to be ready to move back all-online in the case COVID-19 takes over campus. However, students are not.
After campus closed in March, students had a week to adjust before returning to class virtually.
Although professors seemed understanding and willing to cooperate with students, this was not the case for most. In-person classes became remote calls and the amount of assignments due each week seemed to double just as fast as COVID-19 cases.
From being forced home and into immediate quarantine, students faced mental and financial challenges that hindered their ability to perform well in class.
As a university, I can say that Southern did the best it could with the amount of time and resources they had when it came to moving everything online; however, in many areas it was simply not enough.
Virtual learning was not only straining on students but professors as well. As we all know now, navigating virtual learning is very confusing, especially when it comes meeting face-to-face.
From classes being hacked to sessions timing out by the end of thespring semester, face-to-face classes had become a thing of the past and the struggle of meeting online was eliminated by the challenge that learning class material on your own raised.
Students went from meeting with their professors every week to only seeing their professors when scheduling meetings, and in many cases once going home, they did not see them at all.
This lack of guidance was evident as it reflected in their final grades. Aware of this, the option of opting out of letter grades was proposed, introducing pass/fail grading.
Although this eased the mind of many students, it was not the correct way of going about assisting them.
Students needed support and an education, but instead a way out was presented to them.
Although this option made sense to students during their time of crisis, many were not made aware of the challenges it could possibly create later down the line.
According to Inside High ED, this decision can affect a student’s ability to get into graduate school, medical school or even a four-year college.
For those who were lucky enough to end the semester on a good note, they did not retain much information rather than just turn in assignments on time.
Like most, I could not have been more thrilled when the spring semester ended and the stress it brought came to an end.
However, some of that stress was replaced with fear when the university announced its plans to do a second run of online learning come Thanksgiving break.
However, like many things, the first trial is just that – a trial. As expected, there is going to be errors and setbacks and opportunity to learn from the mistakes that were made.
With the anticipation of classes being moved back online in November, one can hope that students’ concerns were heard and the university came up with a plan that will not only educate, but also will support students who are learning from their homes this semester.