The ongoing pandemic has brought both challenges and new experiences for everyone. For Bradley students, COVID-19 has eliminated social experiences, fostered burnout and transformed our classrooms from buildings and campus facilities to bedrooms and kitchen tables.
However, given the country’s vaccination rates and the university’s announcement that it intends to return to traditional classroom settings in the fall, it seems our virtual learning days are numbered.
As we say farewell to online classes, it is nice to take a look back on all the good times and the not-so-good times online classes have provided students with.
One aspect that will be missed is the flexibility in location. Having class, regardless of where you are, is definitely a plus. I never thought I would have been able to attend class on a beach, but it happened.
Being able to roll out of bed — or stay in bed, for that matter — and still make it to my 9 a.m. on time has been a massive plus. On the downside, not having the regular exercise from walking to class and the social interaction of being in person has not been the best for mental health.
Having recorded sessions on Zoom that professors can upload has been nice. While professors normally allow students to record their lectures (after asking permission), it has been nice to have recordings automatically added to Sakai and Canvas.
In regards to Sakai and Canvas, the lockdown browsers and testing conditions will not be missed. Taking a test while logged into Zoom on a laptop and a phone with a lockdown browser has been a source of anxiety for many students; a simple move of the head or neck, or as much as a sneeze, and the test could be halted or even stopped.
However, online classes have given students a bit more freedom. Again, the ability to take classes anywhere means students do not have a commute to classes and can easily work on classes from work, their dorm or their hometown.
While the entire experience hasn’t been the most ideal, online classes have provided some glimmers of hope. While I am excited to get back in the classroom full time, I have a feeling that by the time winter weather begins to roll in, I will be missing the option to take class from my warm bed.