BY JOSSIE WARD
This spring, Bradley students had the opportunity to experience online schooling for all that it is. Like any form of education, it had its ups and downs.
Some of the highlights of online schooling include increased open note assignments and a more flexible schedule. While college is arguably the most relaxed era of education (eating in class, uniforms are unheard of, etc.), having the chance to have class anywhere with Wi-Fi is a godsend.
Attending class while poolside doesn’t sound too bad to me. One of my classmates was on a family vacation and opted to extend her stay because she could easily participate from the resort. When classes are mandated to be in person, the only way to catch a killer tan in the classroom is to pick a seat by the window.
Online classes also allow students to have more control over their work. They might have a few Zoom calls a week, but there is more time between assignments.
Online classes can teach students communication, teamwork and patience when dealing with professors and classmates, arguably more so than in-person, because online classes require more effort from the student.
Students are resonsible for taking the initiative to be involved, reach out and make deeper connections with their peers and faculty because office hours and study groups take more work than simply talking to a person after class.
To be fair, online classes present their own challenges – most of which are technical errors pertaining to spotty internet or a lack of connection. .
Some may argue that taking online classes instead of in-person classes does not guarantee the true college experience, but that only begs the question: is college about an experience or an education?
BY JADE SEWELL
While I admit that online classes this spring were far easier for me than in-person classes, I’m more concerned about the quality of learning.
At home, I slacked off big time. I didn’t feel the same urgency to complete assignments that I did on campus. Admittedly, I had more than one assignment that I didn’t even bother to turn in. For someone who normally checks my grades obsessively, that was a big deal. From listening to my peers in the education department, I know I’m not alone.
In my in-person classes, sharing is much easier. Getting called on in Bongo was absolutely nerve-wracking. I never felt comfortable knowing that everyone’s monitors would be displaying my face and bedroom if I chose to speak up. Participation in my classes plummeted, and many of my professors got frustrated with their once-vocal students.
I’m not sure I learned all that much from the final weeks of my classes. I rushed to complete assignments I would normally take the time to produce thoughtful work on. I muted myself to watch TikToks during class. That’s not who I am as a student.
Granted, all of those things are due to my lack of self-control. However, I think online classes make it all too easy for those things to come to fruition.
Furthermore, orchestrating my class times around all four of my siblings’ classes as well as my dad’s work proved insurmountable. I barely ever had a quiet room. And with six people competing for Wi-Fi on a farm in the middle of nowhere, I practically had no connection. Plus, technology is notoriously unreliable. While many professors offered paper alternatives, I’m not sure how helpful those would have been, especially for lecture-based classes.
I, for one, gladly look forward to my in-person classes in the fall.