College during a pandemic, over online classes.

I use the internet a lot, but it is starting to get old

Online+classes+can+be+convenient%2C+and+I+understand+why+we+have+to+do+them%2C+but+surely+they+are+not+ideal.

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Online classes can be convenient, and I understand why we have to do them, but surely they are not ideal.

In the past few months, everybody has dealt with change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For me, one of those changes has been the transition from primarily in-person classes to now  having almost all of my classes delivered online. 

I’m over it, to say the least.

Since school began, I have had three main issues with primarily online classes. 

First, with the lack of scheduling and structure with an online format, I am not motivated to do anything in a timely manner.

While I’m not a procrastinator by any means, it has been extremely hard for me to get out of bed on a Monday morning and work on assignments that are not due until the next Sunday night. 

I used to get up and run to my lectures in the morning, and that would be how I would get myself in gear for the week. Without an in-person lecture, I really have no reason to start my day and have no motivation to get ahead in classes for the week.

My second issue with online classes is the lack of connection between my classmates. Professors try to create interaction through online discussion and Zoom calls, but it is just not the same and at times feels ingenuine.

Back when I had in-person classes, I would make connections with the people around me and I would learn a lot of the material through them. Now that is just not possible.

In an online format most interaction happens in discussion boards. We write a response to a prompt and reply to other classmates’ posts. 

Yes, this is an alternative to in-person discussion, however, I find discussion boards to have a major flaw.

When students write on discussion boards they tend to only write the bare minimum and don’t really engage in the conversation. As a result, online conversation is really robotic and unhelpful.

Without face-to-face discussion, my feelings of loneliness have been stronger than ever and there are some days I don’t interact with more than a couple of people. This has been really damaging to my mental health.

Finally, my third main reason for not really liking online classes is that I feel I am not getting the quality education I pay for.

In my experience, online classes have mostly consisted of reading a textbook and taking a quiz on what I read. As a result, I find myself reading and doing the assignment, but not really retaining the information I read about.

 In other words, I’m kind of just going through the motions in order to get points on assignments and not really learning.

The consequences of online classes are probably the biggest reason why I am crossing my fingers it will be safe to go back to in-person classes completely in the spring.

I love and applaud my professors for their efforts to teach during this crazy time, but because the bulk of material is delivered through a textbook rather than lecture in an online format, I feel that I’m mostly teaching myself. 

Tuition is very expensive, and quite frankly, I don’t think I’m getting a lot of bang for my buck.

Don’t get me wrong, online classes can be convenient and I understand why we have to do them, but they are surely not ideal. 

If I have to do online classes to stay safe, then I’ll deal with it. But I for one am anticipating the day when the university decides to go back to primarily face-to-face instruction, whenever that may be.

Fanetti can be reached at [email protected]