The first semester of Hunter College has started and most students are taking classes online this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am a freshman at Hunter College and college has been different than I have expected it to be before the pandemic. I am taking all of my classes online for this semester. While some might be completely against online learning and others might enjoy online learning, I think there are both positive and negative aspects to taking classes online.
There are some positive aspects to taking classes online. First of all taking classes online is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Recently, many college campuses have been seeing an outbreak in the virus due to students not complying with social distancing protocols. Many colleges have had to close down and transition to remote learning in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore, taking classes online is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. The second benefit of taking classes online is being able to ask questions in front of a large class. Before I came to Hunter I was worried about how I would ask a question to my professors in front of a large group of students. However, now that classes are online all I have to do is "unmute" myself on a zoom call or blackboard collaborate to ask my question. In addition, I can also type my question in the chat function and be able to ask my question. Another benefit of online learning is not having to commute to and from school. Initially, I had some classes at night and some classes in the morning and I was wondering what I would be doing during the huge gap in between classes, but now that I am taking classes online I can use the extra time to finish up a lot of my work and have extra time to study for my classes.
As much as there are positive aspects to online learning, there are also some negative aspects to online learning. One negative part about online learning is having a stable internet connection at all times during classes. The internet does not always function properly. Especially when there are a lot of people on the same video call, the internet fluctuates back and forth and it is sometimes difficult to pay attention during class. Another negative aspect to online learning is taking exams online especially when the internet decides to disconnect during the middle of a test. I am usually worried before an exam day or class about whether my internet will work or not. Another negative aspect to online learning is missing out on the social aspect of college. Due to classes being online many students are not able to connect to their classmates as much as they would if there was no pandemic. However, students are still trying their best to stay connected through social media and group chats. In addition, many freshmen are missing out on the traditional college experience they would have been able to experience if classes were in person.
My experience with online learning has been both good and bad. However, one thing I am grateful for is that I am still able to learn and receive the education I need to move forward whether it be online or in-person. Hope everyone is able to make the best of their learning experience this year whether it be online or in person! Wish everyone the best of luck for this semester!