Campus News

DSU Students Adapt to Pandemic-induced “New Normal” with Online and Hybrid Classes

Trinece Rawls   

Delaware State University has announced that all classes during the fall semester will be hybrid with a few offered completely online.

As the world is facing a major crisis of Covid-19, universities across America have adapted to the situation by offering hybrid online classes.

(In this photo:(L-r) Malina Emory, Kamden Harrison and Ananiya Pierce – all freshmen – are masked up and ready for the 2020 fall semester.)

DSU Students began the fall semester last week August 24th, 2020 and some are finding it difficult to adapt to the new hybrid course delivery mode. Hybrid learning for some students can be challenging because they aren’t face to face with their professors. But other students have no problem how classes are being held this semester. This pandemic has led plenty of students to stay home instead of returning to campus; most feel safer at home while some can’t stand being home anymore. Classes being hybrid this semester is for the safety of students, administrators, and faculty.

Speaking to students about how they feel about the pandemic and how hybrid learning has been for them has been quite interesting. Many students agree that this pandemic will never end or, at least, some hope that it’ll end soon, so they can enjoy their college experience. Until then students must wear face coverings, take precautions everywhere they go, and get tested throughout each week. The students claim that “The Integrity Administration (SGA) has made sure they update all students on events, safety precautions, activities, and more. Not only do they care about their own safety, they care about all of the student’s well-being.”

Concerning the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19 pandemic, students who are currently living on campus responded to some questions posed by this reporter:

How do you feel about the pandemic?

Tejona Johnson-Moore: “I feel as though the pandemic itself stopped a lot in person networking.”

Morghan Walker: “I feel that the pandemic was a very emotional event that was terrible for me.”

Yenessa Foster: “I feel like it’s an opportunity for people to do things that they never had time for.”

Mieykeya McClendon: “I feel like the pandemic is making a lot of things come to light because our ability to focus is on reality.”

Chavara Bartley: “I feel like the pandemic has really affected the way we view life and has made us recognize how unclean things are.”

Aaren Berkley: “I feel like the pandemic has really impacted me as a person and it’s very unfortunate that this is happening to us.”

Roniesha Williams: “I feel like the pandemic ruined a lot of good things and it’s very depressing.”

Overall these students believe that this pandemic is a gift and a curse. During this time many millennials are starting their own businesses and finding new streams of income. Most see this crisis as a way to better their mental health and a reason to better their lives in all aspects.

How is the pandemic affecting the way you’re learning?

Morghan Walker: “The pandemic is affecting how I learn because I feel like I cannot get the full understanding that I need for all of my classes.”

Yenessa Foster: “It’s difficult communicating within the learning, in-person conversations happen to be better.”

Mieykeya McClendon: “In some general classes, teachers lack structure because they haven’t taught online classes and that sometimes makes it hard to learn.”

Chavara Bartley: “The pandemic is affecting the way we learn because everything is online and most of our generation has short attention spans.”

Aaren Berkley: “Due to corona, I have in fact started virtual learning and it has been an adjustment, but I believe that I am slowly doing better each day.”

Roniesha Williams: “I dislike everything about online classes; I’m a visual learner so I’m really struggling.”

According to the students, this pandemic will be an obstacle they all have to overcome. A lot of students are used to looking at a computer screen to do homework, but now they’re forced to have all of their classes online. Most students don’t have the patience to sit in front of their computer and listen to a lecture. They’ll rather sit in front of their professor to get a better experience. For most professors this would be their first time holding an online class for a whole semester, so both students and professors have to find common ground to have a successful year.

Do you think it’s safe to be on campus?

Tejona Johnson-Moore: “I don’t think it’s safe to be on campus because there’s not a medication for Covid right now if someone contracts it. So, it’s just best to stay home & do the virtual work from home.”

Morghan Walker: I think it is safe to be on campus because the school seems to be taking all the precautions that need to be taken to make sure everyone is okay.”

Yenessa Foster: “Yes, I think it is safe to be on campus as long as directions and precautions are being followed.”

Mieykeya McClendon: “I think that it is somewhat safe to be on campus if everyone follows instructions.”

Chavara Bartley: “I think campus is as safe as it can be.”

Aaren Berkley: “I think it is safe to be on campus as I trust my university.”

Roniesha Williams: “No, but let’s be real is it safe to be anywhere? I think being on campus, in a way, is safer than being at home because at least here I’m constantly being tested. At home I have family who work, so they’re around a bunch of random people all the time. I’m probably at a greater risk at home.”

Students who are on campus believe they’re in good hands. The university is taking all the precautions that they need to keep the campus safe and clean. They’ve came up with schedules for dining halls, library access, gym access, and more. If everyone continues to take precautions, everyone will be able to stay on campus for the remaining of the semester.

How often do you have to get tested?

All students agreed on how every student has to get tested twice a week. Getting tested twice a week is very smart because students are coming encounter with each other, not knowing where they’ve been.

 Delaware has been placed on the hotspot list for covid-19 in the last week. So, students have no problem with the amount of times they’re getting tested, mainly because they want to stay safe while they’re away from their homes.

Would you prefer hybrid learning or in-person learning?

Tejona Johnson-Moore: “I prefer in-person learning to connect more with my professors.”

Morghan Walker: “I prefer in person learning because it’s easier for me to understand information and get my questions fully answered, so I can complete my work.”

Yenessa Foster: “Either or depending on the subject.”

Mieykeya McClendon: “I prefer hybrid learning because even though it may be harder in some areas to learn in class, I can have better hold of my time in my room on the computer as opposed to making my way to campus.”

Chavara Bartley: “I prefer hybrid learning because I don’t want be in a classroom setting as of right now.”

Aaren Berkley: “I would like to have in-person classes when it is safe and supported by the CDC.”

Roniesha Williams: “I would prefer in person learning since I’m more of a visual learner and I find it harder to keep up with assignments online. Also, because I’m not taking these classes as serious as I know I would if they were in person.”

This question compared hybrid to in-person learning. A lot of students would prefer in-person learning because they can connect and build relationships with their professors. They’re more likely to succeed in a class with lessons that are hands on. For students who prefer hybrid classes, for the most part they just want to stay safe. Some will have better time management and it’ll be easier to have class while in the comfort of home, instead of commuting back and forth to campus.

Are you required to wear face coverings in your rooms/ in suites with other students?

Morghan Walker: “No, I don’t wear masks in my room. But I do wear a mask in different buildings.”

Chavara Bartley: “I am required to wear facemasks on campus and when we’re walking around, but not when we are in dorm rooms or apartments.”

Aaren Berkley: “No, it is not required that we wear a face mask when we are with our roommate/in our apartment.”

Overall, students are taking the precautions required and are staying safe while on campus. Even though things may be hard for some, it will get better for all as they work together to make campus a safe environment. Students are hopeful that this pandemic will end soon, so they can get back to their lives. Activities have been pushed back to spring semester in 2021, so this semester will be focused on getting students back in the rotation of classes.

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