By Ana Carolina Aguiar
For the first time in the history of our university (and many others), almost all classes are being taught online. Barry University students are watching and listening to their professors from the comfort of their homes through videoconference applications such as Cisco Webex and Zoom, while Canvas remains the main source of information for assignments and other class material. For many, there is no more commuting, no more walking through our beautiful campus, no more sitting down in classrooms and socializing, no more studying in the library.
We can all agree that this semester is very different from semesters past, and this new experience has both positive and negative aspects.
The Buccaneer recently conducted a survey asking students for their opinion on virtual classes. Out of five stars, students voted a 3.2 average on how much they are enjoying virtual classes, five being a lot and one being not at all.
When asked if they prefer virtual or in-person classes, 65.22% voted that they prefer in-person classes while 34.78% voted that they prefer virtual classes.
When it comes to the positive aspects, 52.17% voted that a positive aspect of virtual classes is watching classes from their own beds. 47.83% said that they appreciate that no transportation is needed to go to class, and 65.22% said that they like that most classes are recorded and they can watch whenever they want. 47.83% voted that they like virtual classes because they enjoy staying at home., and similarly, 34.78% voted that they are not very sociable, and enjoy virtual classes because they don’t have to socialize.
Three students shared their own positive aspects. “The convenience of staying wherever is best for you to take the class” one of the students wrote. “As a full-time student and a 50-hour full-time worker, online classes give me the flexibility I need to make both happen! My grades are great, 4 As 1 B! It’s perfect for me honestly, such a blessing,” says another. “Attending class is easier, all you have to do is log onto Zoom/Webex without having to walk into class late,” shared the third student.
The Buccaneer also questioned students on the negative aspects of virtual learning. 52.17% voted that connection and audio problems annoy them and affect their learning experience, and that due to not leaving the house, their daily lives are not very active anymore. 60.87% voted that they miss socializing with friends, classmates, and professors. 69.57% voted that they miss the Barry campus and the classroom environment. 52.17% voted that they don’t like to turn their cameras on and dislike when professors make it mandatory. One student shared with the Buccaneer their own negative aspect, which was the overcompensation of work due to inactivity during online classes.
Virtual classes have their drawbacks and their benefits, and students are still trying to adapt to this new reality since there isn’t any other option. However, the health of our students and professors comes first, and social distancing is necessary at this point in our history. Barry students and professors are indeed experiencing a historical moment.