Professors fail to Zoom classes for quarantined students

Professors fail to accommodate online resources for quarantined students

Claire Schoenemann

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UW-Eau Claire students are facing challenges with campus required quarantine and learning

“It doesn’t feel that hard to turn a camera on and make that an option so that students don’t have to decide between following the quarantine rules and learning,” Katie Talberg, fourth-year English student, said. 

With UW-Eau Claire currently using an in-person learning model, many students are feeling frustrated with the lack of online options provided when placed into a university-required quarantine. 

In fact, when looking at a survey of students on campus, 44.4% said their professors don’t provide zoom or recorded lecture options. 

UW-Eau Claire has now reached an 80% uploaded vaccination rate, and had no on-campus positive COVID-19 cases this week, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard.

However, the survey also showed that 51.6% of students reported being quarantined or isolated at some point due to university requirements and COVID-19 symptoms. 

In addition to this, the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Updates page directly states, “If you are ill for any reason do not come to campus.” 

Their quarantine policy also states, “Isolation is required if a student is displaying symptoms and is awaiting test results. Isolation is also required for all students who have tested positive for COVID-19.“

Matthew Last, a first-year accounting student, was isolated for the ten day period after testing positive for COVID-19 and recalled his experience when reaching out to professors. 

“I was obviously super sick. I emailed all of my professors, and every single one of them told me to get the notes from other people. I was given no zoom option or video lectures,” Last said. 

Referring back to the survey, 54% of students said only one to two of their professors were providing a zoom or recorded lecture. 

“(Only) two of my professors have online options,” Talberg said. “I had another girl in my class record the lecture, which also doesn’t seem fair that it falls on the students to figure that out.”

Since quarantine is required by the university, it puts many students in a tough place regarding their academic standing. 

“Given the circumstances, quarantine really is necessary, but then you also have to sacrifice class and learning content,” Talberg said. “This puts a lot of students into a hard place of having to decide between health and safety vs academics.” 

The survey showed only 20.6% of students’ satisfaction rate is at a 1, extremely dissatisfied, on a scale of 1-10. 

Mary Hoffman, professor in academic affairs and provost, spoke regarding the policy on providing learning options for students who are quarantined during the fall semester. 

“Faculty need to provide opportunities for students to do the learning. It does not have to be on Zoom, it does not have to be streamed, but they need to provide opportunities,” said Hoffman. 

Some alternative options include giving powerpoint slides, asking to get notes from a friend, or doing reading, but Hoffman said that professors should be providing alternate ways for students. 

Talberg said in past years all of her professors had online options, but that is far from the case this year. 

“The most frustrating thing is that it feels like it’s falling on the students to scramble and figure out what they should do.”

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected]