How are Students Adjusting to Quarantine? by Melika Mirbod

COVID-19 has drastically changed and affected our world. Schools in many different countries have been canceled and transferred to an online format. California Northstate University has also followed the same path of conducting class online through “Zoom.” Students from varying pathways were interviewed to see how they are transitioning from the in-class to online setting.


Questions asked to current students: 

  1. How are you adjusting to the new online format of classes?

  2. If you would change one thing about the online classes, what would you do? Any suggestions for your instructors on zoom?

  3. Do you think it was a good idea to cancel classes and change to an online format?

  4. Has the quality of learning changed?

  5. Which classes are easier or harder online? Why?


“I think that my adjustment to the new online format has gone pretty well. It was definitely difficult for me to switch from an actual classroom environment to an online format just because I feel like I learn better and am more focused in an actual class. However, I think the switch to online classes has been pretty successful so far." 


"If I could change one thing about online classes, I would probably say to include more breakout room sessions because these have been helpful in some of my classes as I get to collaborate with my peers and get my individual questions answered." 


"Yes, it was definitely a good idea to cancel and change to online given the circumstances of the global pandemic we are faced with. Practicing social distancing and staying at home is the best way to prevent any further spread of COVID-19." 


"I feel like our quality of learning has remained the same because our professors are definitely still putting in the work to ensure we receive the best education possible. They are still hosting office hours and providing us with the necessary resources for our classes. Discussion based classes such as Foundations of Service Learning are easier online because we simply engage in thought-provoking discussions during class. Classes like chemistry and calculus that require working out problems are a little more difficult online because it is harder to get our questions answered.” - 3+4 BS/MD student 


“I am adjusting pretty well to the new online format of classes. At first, it was hard to keep up with a large number of Zoom meetings being set up and emails being sent out but it got easier once I got the hang of it." 


"If I could change one thing about online classes it would be to provide more ways for collaborative assignments and group activities like we have been doing in class before Zoom meetings." 


"I definitely think it was a good idea to change the class format to online Zoom classes due to the severity of the coronavirus and how rapid it is still spreading. It is important we practice social distancing in order to do our part in helping the rate of the virus decrease." 


"I believe the quality of learning is still the same as the professors are still doing their best to provide us with all the necessary resources to succeed in class as well as offer their spare time into office hours. Online lab simulations are a lot harder online because it is difficult to understand the lab process we are performing through the use of downloaded software rather than actual lab equipment. However, normal lecture hall classes are easy online as zoom allows professors to share their screen so all students can see what the professor is seeing.” -3+4 BS/MD student 


"I am well-adjusted to online classes at this point, but it has definitely been a major change. Taking online classes is more convenient since I don’t have to commute as I would normally, but it comes with its cons as well. Being overloaded with emails and messages makes it easy to overlook and miss assignments, especially if assignments are supposed to be submitted to different platforms. For this reason, I think that having all assignments and deadlines being on Canvas would be one positive change to online learning." 


"Making classes online was definitely the right thing to do. Continuing physical/in-person learning during the current pandemic would put students and faculty at a higher risk of becoming infected and would compromise the learning process." 


"I think the quality of learning in online classes is equal to in-person classes. Professors have been very accommodating, available for external help, and patient which has helped the transition be smooth. The classes that involve hand-written work, such as calculus and chemistry, are more difficult online due to the limitations in online testing of the material. It is also disappointing to not be able to perform lab investigations even though online lab simulations aren’t necessarily more difficult. The rest of my classes have been straightforward online thus far.” 

 - 2+4 BS/MD student  


“I feel that I am still adjusting to the online classes. Now that it has been a week, I am getting the hang of how Zoom works; however, I still feel that I am overwhelmed at times. This makes the online process a little hectic; however, I feel a lot more comfortable with the formatting at this point." 


"I would most definitely change the way some of the classes are structured. For example, in our General Chemistry 120 Lecture, we used to take a quiz every class within the first ten minutes. The professors have carried this quiz on to the online classes; however, the transition has not been without difficulties. The quiz is given in a shorter amount of time, and there are many more questions on the online version than the paper version. Also, when there are questions, we do not have time to ask them within the allotted time. Additionally,  we cannot go back to questions to check them. However, our professor has handled the situation very well and has considered our comments." 


"I feel that due to the current circumstances of the pandemic it was necessary to switch to the online formatting." 


"Yes, I would say that the quality of learning has changed. I feel that I am more engaged and encouraged to learn in a classroom setting. It is also definitely a different experience taking lab classes online because they are made to be done in person. However, our professors are doing a great job of listening to and implementing our comments.” - 4+4 BS/MD student 


"Although it has been a big time of change for students and faculty at CNU, we are all slowly adjusting to the new online format. There have been some difficulties along the road, but the teachers and faculty have been super helpful and flexible, making it a smooth transition overall."


Cover Art Source: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/03/keeping-things-in-balance-while-under-self-quarantine/

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