As I enter my final year of college at USD, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my studies as a student.
Many recent graduates and seniors entered their introductory college years during the COVID-19 pandemic and four years later, the education system is starting to see the impacts online learning had on its students.
When classes were hybrid or completely online and could be completed from the comfort of one’s own room, the question of how much learning took place arose.
Most exams were taken online, the structure of the typical classroom setting was disrupted, and professors and students both had to balance the learning curve of completing and conducting classroom discussions.
As a freshman, I admired my professor’s ability to maintain an engaging classroom environment when confronted with technological issues. I did not feel I lost out on any opportunities within the classroom except getting to build connections early on.
I found this the most difficult aspect of college during my first years as I struggled to connect with students and meet people in my grade.
While the rigor of the classroom expectations has risen as classroom settings operate as normal, I do appreciate what was learned from such an experience. Professors have adapted to using Zoom in the classroom when students are feeling ill and using online resources to connect individuals throughout the state and globally.
While there were undoubtedly those few instances where students took advantage of the opportunity to stay in bed and watch lectures via Zoom, I also think the disrupted classroom environment that resulted from the pandemic ultimately reshaped our views of how one can learn and where one can learn.