Emmalyn Ylaya, Staff Writer
At Utica College, students have the option to take classes online or in person. Even though UC was completely online for the last half of the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19 pandemic, online classes switched to the options of in-person, hybrid, or online for this semester.
Professors are forced to bring their styles of instruction online. Some of their online classes will be held synchronously using video conference websites like Zoom or Google Meet. Some online classes are held asynchronously in order for students to do course work at their own pace.
At Utica College, the use of Engage is used frequently for keeping class files together online.
Junior Daryn Buzzell is impressed with the way things are going with her classes online based on what she has noticed from her friends at other colleges.
“I know some people from other colleges have complained about their professors being disorganized with online classes,” Buzzell said. “UC’s online classes really impress me with the way professors go out of their way to be accomodating and make my learning experience as normal as possible. I really appreciate the extra work they put into it.”
Buzzell has most of her classes held on Zoom. Like some students and professors, she ended up having some technical issues such as poor WiFi connection and her laptop dying while she was in the middle of a class session.
When students are on campus, they have many options of using campus technology tools such as campus computers and UC WiFi.
“I think online classes are what you make of it,” Buzzel said. “It is more challenging in a lot of ways. Online learning is really up to the student to practice time management and to stay on track. If you are willing to put the effort in, then it is doable.”
While working with online classes, Buzzell said she thinks they can be more time consuming. Sometimes she would end up staring at her computer for several hours, especially until 10 p.m. in order to get her work done as soon as possible.
“I am willing to do it so I don’t end up falling behind in my classes,” Buzzell said.
According to Buzzell, movement in online classes requires her to sit and stare at her computer for hours on end. This extends further for homework when the majority of her assignments are online.
When it comes to hybrid versions for classes, this is where classes meet in person some days and other days online. This is one of the ways of keeping people active and not sitting at a workspace for several hours.
Junior Alyson Ratcliffe said online classes are a learning experience for her. She prefers to have classes in-person even though things have been hard for her to adjust.
“One of my classes is held on Google Meet where my other classes are held on Zoom,” Ratcliffe said. “I have less problems on Google Meet in comparison to Zoom. If Zoom was a more stable establishment to be ready for all of this activity, then it would be really good.”
Ratcliffe said her hybrid classes are in a way of meeting in-person one day and working asynchronous for the remainder of the week. While working with all of her classes she is currently taking this semester, she has set aside a way for herself to succeed in the semester.
“I always plan my week with everything I have to do this semester because I definitely don’t want to get lost in the chaos of this weird situation we’re all going through this semester,” Ratcliffe said. “I suggest to students to make sure they have their own space to concentrate, focus, and work. Combining all of your course syllabuses and schedules is the best way to avoid missing deadlines for work to submit.”