The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in a drastic way over the last few months. The majority of the country’s citizens are practicing social distancing and staying quarantined.
Because of this new normal, many businesses closed their doors and schools shifted their classes to online formats.
Since March 23, Salt Lake Community College has held their classes exclusively online. With more than five weeks to adapt to the new format, students are left with mixed feelings on the effectiveness of online classes.
“I’m honestly really overwhelmed with the workload,” stated Haley Dale, a sophomore at SLCC. “Most of my classes have kept the same assignments without the in-class time to talk about the assignments or work on them in class, it’s frustrating. The Zoom meetings help, but not every class has them, and even when they do, it’s not the same.”
For Mckayla Court, a sophomore studying communications at SLCC, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
“Yes, online classes are frustrating. Every student is in a different place at SLCC. But for a lot of us, we were almost done. It’s frustrating because I worked so hard and took all the boring and hard classes that I had to take in order to take the fun classes, the production classes. All that work paid off because we got to take these hands-on classes, and for once, I actually felt like I was learning things every day. School was fun. I was excited to go to school and work with equipment that I’ve always wanted to get my hands on. And it all ended so fast.”
“Now, I was sitting at home on my laptop wishing I was back at school. Online classes are hard and unmotivating. And if I am, to be honest, I will always look for ways to cheat doing online classes. And I learn nothing.”
But not all students are quite as frustrated with the online classes.
Javier Acosta is much more optimistic about the college holding their classes online.
“I don’t really care that the classes [are] online, to be honest. It really hasn’t made that big of a difference to me, they’ve done a good job of converting all of the assignments to Canvas, and in the three classes I’m taking, the professors have been pretty good at emailing the class and keeping us in the loop for the most part. It’s not ideal, but there’s nothing we can [do] about it right now. We just have to make do with what we have. And the teachers have been less strict about late work and that kind of stuff, so it’s not all bad.”
According to Business Insider, China reported the first documented case of the novel coronavirus on Dec. 31, 2019. Three weeks later, the U.S. reported its first case in Washington state.
Less than two months after the first infection, the U.S. government declared a national emergency and instructed citizens to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. SLCC became one of several thousand schools to provide an online-first learning environment for the remainder of the spring semester.
“In less than a week, we converted more than 2,600 classes to online,” said Joy Tlou, the public relations director for SLCC. “Over 90 percent of our classes are now being held remotely. And while it’s certainly different, students and faculty have done a great job of innovating. I’ve seen students who have done artwork at home and then used facetime to get critiques on their artwork. It’s been great to see.”
SLCC is currently holding all summer classes exclusively online.
Tlou also commented on the possibility of in-person classes returning for the fall semester.
“As of right now, it’s too soon to tell. We’re in a wait-and-see mode,” he said. “Obviously, health and safety are the biggest keys to classes returning, but the plan is to re-open this fall.”