OPINION: Improving online schooling for next semester

Take student input into account; Zoom classes can always be improved

Zoom+classes+and+online+school+is+still+a+work+in+progress.+

LAUREN PETTIT

Zoom classes and online school is still a work in progress.

PORTIA SIMMONS, Evergreen columnist

The coronavirus has changed the regular way of life for most. It has altered the way that students learn. This semester has surely been different, and many people have differing opinions about online school.

Some say online schooling was hard to adapt to.

“Online learning has been a challenge for me because I easily get distracted with things around my house,” said Gavin Jarschke, senior psychology major. “I have a partner, a cat, a dog, a lizard, TV, computer, and many other things I use to relax. Since they are at my fingertips, it becomes harder to sit and focus.”

Including distractions, there are many other issues one may experience, like technical malfunctions and nonpersonal exchanges.

“Talking and learning over a video is extremely different from in-person experiences,” sophomore psychology major Alana Hall said.

Although there are many downfalls with online learning, there is an upside. Online learning required students to be on top of the material, and it also let students design their own schedule for themselves.

“It allowed for me to work more on my own time,” Hall said. “It forced me to learn extra discipline in order to schedule my time properly and get things done.”

In-class discussions have more freedom and allow people to be able to easily speak their minds.

“I think the new format of free-form discussions to lead the learning is a format that makes the most sense for this style of class,” Jarschke said.

Online classes may be a new style of teaching for everyone, including students and teachers alike, but we are learning as we go. There are things that can be improved for next semester to make the process easier for students. For example, not having a fee for proctoring services.

“Many honest students don’t have the money to be constantly paying for services which they have no choice in participating in,” Hall said.

Both Hall and Jarschke also suggested having more options for better internet access for students learning remotely.

“I hope next semester, they have easier internet access on campus for students who have to live on campus or don’t have access elsewhere,” Hall said.

Because the class format is already more of a freestyle, why not allow students to do classes on their own time?

“I understand that having a set time for class does aid some people, but I am not a morning person, so having the structure of you can attend a ‘class’ at a specific time but also listen to the lecture on your own time and not have a penalty happen,” Jarschke said.

We all hope for a better future soon in regard to COVID-19. The aftermath of COVID-19 will surely be felt.

“I think this will be hard to adapt to but once it’s been a semester or two, it will be normal,” Jarschke said. “The positive and negative aspects will be different for everyone just as before COVID students succeeded or struggled in that format. It will just be different,”

As we wrap up this semester, there are definite positives and negatives. What we can do to make the next semester better for teachers and students is to continue evaluating and improving based on feedback.