Students Express Mixed Feelings Toward Shift to Online Learning

Some students feel that they will be able to succeed in online coursework, while others are concerned about the changes to the curriculum.


(Image via Pixabay)

The University of Akron has developed a Keep Learning webpage to provide students with assistance in online learning.

By Elizabeth Heckler, Social Media Editor

Students at The University of Akron are facing an unprecedented situation, as President Gary L. Miller informed the campus community that all instruction would be moved online for the rest of the semester due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

On March 10,
all classes were halted to give professors time to restructure their curriculums before online courses began on March 30, but some students are not confident that they will succeed in this new format.

For some students, this abrupt change will be their first experience with online learning.

“I have never taken online classes,” junior Isham Odakim said. “All my professors have scrambled to different online solutions for their classes.”

Other students are concerned about whether their instructors will be able to effectively teach their content via Brightspace and other online platforms.

“One of my professors does not even utilize Brightspace. I do not understand how a professor who did not utilize digital interfaces before the COVID-19 outbreak will be successful in transferring all of his curriculum online in a manner that ensures students accessibility and success in the course,” freshman Ryan Shepherd said.

However, other students express a more positive outlook on the situation.

“Most of my professors seem able and prepared to transition to distance learning,” sophomore Caitlin Campbell said.

Online instruction presents a unique set of challenges that students may not face under normal campus operations, chief among them being access to the internet and other required technologies.

Without campus resources, some students may not be able to complete online coursework.

University staff has developed a
Keep Learning webpage to provide assistance to students who may be struggling with the change in class format. 

The webpage includes information on offers for free or cheap internet access, strategies for succeeding in online courses, resources for utilizing various digital platforms, and other information related to COVID-19.

Students also have access to many
campus resources during the pandemic, including food assistance via the Campus Cupboard and continued access to campus health services.