While schools anticipate a return to campus next semester, online learning is something that they could still use to their advantage.
For Cegep and University students, going on campus seems like a thing of the past. Classes being online for the entire 2020-21 school year has made us forget what it feels like to even be in a real classroom. With the vaccine rollout and reduced number of cases, however, schools are preparing to welcome students back on campus.
Unfortunately, health officials are warning us that a possible fourth wave caused by the Delta variant is approaching Quebec and has already hit other parts of the world. This has raised concerns among students about going back to school.
So, what should the schools do? In my opinion, there needs to be a variety of classes in-person, while keeping some online. This allows students to get all the benefits of having in-person school while limiting contact with others.
There were definitely some classes that exposed the weaknesses of online school, as they were too hands-on and required lots of group work. These classes need to shift to the actual classroom, as learning from a computer screen wasn’t doing them justice. I can only imagine how painful it must have been for theater majors to have to take acting courses in a zoom class.
With that being said, online school can still be used for various lecture-heavy classes that don’t require much group work/class participation. In my opinion, keeping these types of classes online would be the best thing to do.
Many classes were also recorded, so if a student can’t attend the class, they can watch it another time without missing any content. This is a resource that I believe should be used beyond the pandemic.
Concordia University has also been offering online-only classes through the E-Concordia portal long before the pandemic began. These classes have weekly lectures and homework that can be completed any day of the week as long as they are done by that Sunday. There are also areas where students can chat and ask each other course-related questions.
In the end, students need to get back to their normal routines, and while many won’t admit it, that does mean going to school in person. That, however, doesn’t mean that online school should be forgotten about. Zoom courses are now a resource that schools should use to their advantage to help limit the students’ contact with others, as well as create an alternative method of learning.