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The Modern-Day Debate: In-Person Vs. Online Instruction

By Liam I. Bouza

Graphic Credit to Ottawa University

It has been more than a year since the Coronavirus pandemic began, and students are still trying to find their footing in this new reality.

Students agree that the last year has come with many lessons and a lot of growth both in an academic and personal sense. Now that classes are in person again, Barry students are torn between which style of learning is better: in-person or online.

In-person classes are preferred to some students, specifically those who recognize that technology may not always be reliable. In fact, The Buccaneer surveyed 40 Barry students, 70 percent of whom expressed that they prefer in-person learning over online.

Graphic Credit to Melissa Manohar

Junior theatre major Jessica Calle is part of this 70 percent. She prefers to be in-person for the courses that are required for her major because taking acting classes is something that she feels you cannot do through a screen.


Other benefits of in-person learning according to The Buccaneer’s survey include students paying more attention in class, taking better notes, understanding more, and having their questions answered in an in-person setting. Taking a class in-person also helps students better grasp what is being asked of them.


Students can also feel more connected to the Barry community when they sit in a classroom rather than seeing their classmates through a screen.

Despite these benefits, 37.5 percent of students surveyed still prefer online instruction. These students are still hesitant to gather amongst others with the risk of COVID-19 still at large. Besides staying safe from COVID-19, online classes have a flexibility that attracts students, since they can take their online classes from any location.

Even though she prefers in-person classes, Calle notes that some courses simply don’t need to be taken in-person.

“From a commuters’ perspective, for most of the general education courses, you don’t need to come to campus at all,” said Calle. “All in all, I think it should be the student’s choice whether they are in person or not.”

Graphic Credit to Ripple Foundation

Senior marketing major Veronica Ospina would also prefer having the choice of instruction when registering for courses.


“[We] have the technology now. Why not use it?” Ospina said.

As a resident, Ospina feels strange being back on campus, since there are not many places around campus to "hang out."

“I feel overwhelmed and weird, being back and having the entire school open and being back in person feels a bit premature,” said Ospina.

Despite having in-person classes, things for Ospina still feel like they’re online. Even though some classes are in-person, assignments tend to be electronic and do not necessarily require students to be in the classroom.

Regardless of which form of instruction they prefer, Barry students can agree that the transition between online and in-person has not been easy.

Janell Campbell, a freshman theatre major, believes students should communicate with professors about how they are doing, especially if they are having a hard time. She believes students should “not be too hard on themselves.”

Students having a hard time transitioning between online and in-person can use the following tips for a better experience.

1. Create specific habits that will help you throughout the day. For example, create a fixed sleeping schedule, pack your backpack the night before class, and choose your outfit the night before class.

2. Go at your own pace. It is okay to take a step back and work things out day by day.

3. Be mindful of what works for you. This includes learning what study methods benefit you and learning how to prioritize yourself and your mental health.

4. Don’t be afraid to reach out for any sort of help. Find the appropriate services and people that can help with the situation you may be going through. Services available on campus include:

Center for Counseling and Psychological Services: 305-899-3950 Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System: 305-899-3335 Office of Accessibility Services: 305-899- 3488

5. Be kind and patient, especially with yourself. Recognize that this is a hard time for everyone. You are not in it alone.

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