Online classes are not too bad

Online+classes+are+not+too+bad

Bethany Abrams

In Augustana College’s COVID-19 briefing on March 11, it was announced that all classes next fall will be held in-person. Although this news is exciting and shows great progress that the college and the nation are making in terms of the virus, part of me is going to miss online and hybrid classes.
As a first-year student at Augustana, I have yet to experience fully in-person classes at this school. In that way, it does feel somewhat daunting to go to in-person learning now that I have become so accustomed to online and hybrid classes. Even my J-term course was completely online.
For me, during this adapting and adjusting, I have learned to appreciate the unpredictable nature of this year’s class schedule. In fact, there are benefits we have gained from online courses.
The first, and potentially most obvious reason why online courses are beneficial is due to the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having students and faculty join a Google Meet from the comfort of their own dorm room or home prevents the virus from spreading in the traditional classroom setting.
However, that is not the only benefit of online and hybrid classes. This type of class schedule has also allowed individuals to learn more about themselves and their learning habits.
Illinois Online, a website dedicated to online courses offered at the University of Illinois, states “Your online course will not only teach you geology or poetry, it will also help you become more self-motivated, a trait that will make you stand out in the workplace and beyond.”
Although it is undeniable that online courses are a difficult adjustment, and external factors can greatly influence an individual’s experience with them, I personally believe that I and many others have become better at time-management and self-discipline. They have forced us to become more responsible and aware of our time in order to try to get the desired grade and learning experience.
A second benefit is that they have also helped me become more technologically inclined. Living in a more digital age, the majority of students have experienced some type of digital component in learning environments at one point or another. However, because of the quick transition back in spring 2020 from in-person to online, these technological components were heightened, causing both students and faculty to get savvier.
TeachThought, an online source dedicated to innovation in the education field, explains that technology allows students and faculty to discover new ways of learning that can be implemented now and in the future. “Mobile educational apps, collaborative platforms, learning analytics and so many more innovative tools and approaches make the learning process much more appealing for both student and teacher,” TeachThought said.
Lastly, one of the most important ways in which online learning has been good is that it has allowed students and faculty to know that we are resilient and capable of handling unpredictable situations. We have persevered through these odd, virtual ways of learning and should be proud of ourselves. Now, because of our determination, strength and prioritizing safety, we have finally begun returning to normalcy.
Although online classes were a new, often difficult adjustment that we had to make, it is rewarding to know that they were worth it in the end. Not only did we reap the benefits of acquiring new skills and confidence in ourselves, but we also did so in a way that allows things to return as they once were.
I will miss online classes as they taught me a lot, and I enjoy focusing on the benefits rather than the difficulties. However, I have also missed in-person classes and have a newfound appreciation for them.
Although it is daunting going from online back to fully in-person learning, the past year has shown us that we are adaptable, strong and can persist together.
Graphic by Alyssa Duckett.