Students and professors reflect on experience with virtual classes


online learning 3/30

Morgan Taylor and Morgan Taylor

The pandemic has shifted society tremendously over the course of three month, like the stay-at-home orders, business closures and countless other factors that have greatly impacted people. The cancellation of schools and college campuses was also a major change.

BGSU released a statement in March stating that classes would move online for the rest of the semester, a sudden change that impacted teachers and students.

Dayna Gay, a second-year graduate student at BGSU expressed advantages and disadvantages of doing online classes. 

Gay felt she was able to do work at her own pace, but had trouble communicating with professors and peers when it came to questions on the work that was required. Gay also thought assignments were a challenge as well.

“The classes ended up being harder to comprehend and required more time to complete assignments,” Gay said.

As a student, Gay says she will not do online classes again as she feels in-person classes are more beneficial for her.

Professors also experienced difficulties making transitions. Associate Teaching Professor in the ethnic studies department, Thomas Edge, reflected on planning and initial reactions for virtual classes.

“I certainly understood the decision. I supported the decision fully. I’ll be honest, I think for a lot of professors the initial reaction was also panic.” Edge said in an email.

As a professor, he quickly realized how much work it was going to be to transfer what he teaches in classes to a virtual setting. He said that he was grateful that the notice hit right before spring break so he could focus not only on preparing for online classes, but the health and well-being of his family as well.

Edge talked about how many challenges professors faced with online learning such as transfering to a different format, or students having lack of access to resources that they would have had if campus was open.

Although his classes were discussion-based, he felt that it was challenging to have those discussions online. Because of some of the tough topics such as race, many students may not have felt comfortable participating.

Edge also talked about how events such as musicals, speakers, conferences and countless others were impacted by the pandemic.

“We don’t always think of parts of the university that are a huge part of learning,” Edge said.

“With stay-at-home orders varying by state, and no clear timeline on when it may be safe or practical for institutions to re-open their doors to students, some may be reconsidering their plans for the fall,” an article by National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators said. 

Although the future is unknown, faculty are still preparing for the fall.

Edge also stated that teachers are now planning for alternative plans in case the pandemic spikes back up in the fall so they will be better prepared. BGSU released a statement that said classes are resuming face-to-face in the fall. 

The university has not specified a plan on how classes or events will go, but students and staff are working on having an alternative plan until further notice.