For some, the decision to either return to campus or choose remote learning was not an easy one. Senior Erin Henkel decided to do remote learning this semester. “I have a chronic illness and my mother is also ill. For my family, the consequences of exposure are too severe to risk being on campus,” says Henkel.
As a hybrid learner myself, I have to balance my classes precariously as my condition worsens. It doesn’t help that I’m immunocompromised, so having accommodations for Zoom classes has helped me. However, Henkel says that she would prefer “asynchronous learning to having Zoom calls because it is overwhelming trying to balance everything.” Because I am on campus, Zoom makes it easier to stay “on track” for classes that I would normally go to in person. But for complete remote learners, asynchronous learning may be easier for students as they navigate home life and student life all at once.
Henkel says one way she has adapted to this change is by having her own space to work allowing her to completely focus on her work. On the other hand, as a hybrid learner, I usually do my work siting in bed which is especially helpful for my chronic pain.
Henkel says that seeing her mom and her dog is a plus of remote learning. She is also grateful not to have to eat the food from the cafeteria. I always know I have Einstein’s to look forward to, at least. While usually meet with my friends outside and we can eat or just talk without as much anxiety, Henkel connects with her friends who live on campus through Facetime.
However, the class structure can prove difficult during this split between on-campus and off-campus students. The current setup means that most students have to declare that they are either a remote learner or an on-campus learner, and as someone who is walking the line in the middle of the two, absences sometimes mean my professors have to accommodate to me if they are not using Zoom. For Henkel, online classes are either synchronous or asynchronous, and she says asynchronous works better around her schedule.
For on-campus learners, what has changed about your experience? Let us know on Twitter.
Carrie King – Features Editor