At the start of the semester, the university determined the majority of students preferred to remain in person for classes, but that desire has moved toward remote learning instead. Students find using Zoom for classes is more convenient and less stressful. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.
Zoom learning is becoming more popular among students as the semester moves along.
The Dixie State University administration sent a poll to students in May about how they wanted to attend classes, and 80% said they would prefer in person. Now with the fall semester reaching its end, what once was a call for in-person classes has shifted to taking classes almost solely online. The university implemented resources to provide technology to accommodate those who prefer Zoom.
Students have said they benefit from the balance between in-person classes and the online format. Having the online format provides students with flexibility in regard to location. Students can participate from virtually anywhere with the online formats.
Ashlyn Searcy, a junior communication studies major from Lehi, said she feels more comfortable being able to spend her online class days in a familiar setting such as her office at home. While being in class in person can be stressful from having to worry about discussions in person, Searcy said she is less stressed when not having to worry about driving to campus, making it on time, and finding a parking space.
Even if students aren’t attending in-person classes daily, they are getting smaller class sizes when they do.
Searcy said she likes the small class sizes when she shows up in person.
“I have a great balance of being on campus [and] using the resources available to me in a smaller class setting on specific days,” Searcy said.
Amber Hayes, a freshman history major from Chicago, said she is able to balance her family life and classes with the availability of online class formats.
“With online courses, I am able to schedule my school around my other obligations, which makes completing my degree much smoother,” Hayes said.
Hayes said she is more responsible for having to understand the content she is receiving through online courses, ultimately helping her to retain more information as she learns.
“I find I am grasping concepts a lot better because I am more absorbed in the material,” Hayes said.
A problem that may arise with online learning is wondering if students are truly learning and getting the most out of their courses.
While Hayes said she finds more responsibility in partaking in online class formats, Ilan Hurtado, a sophomore nursing major from Chicago, said he finds it harder to stay focused and engaged on Zoom, especially when there is a poor internet connection.
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Hurtado said he learns better in person because he is in a group setting.
“I need the classroom environment in order to succeed in my classes,” Hurtado said. “Especially with lab courses.”
As for professors’ roles in the online format, there have been some changes since the spring semester; more professors are trying to be inclusive with how they teach online while trying to accommodate both in-person students and those on Zoom.
Hurtado said his professors have been trying to accommodate everyone, even the ones who aren’t as tech-savvy. Professors are trying to hold engaging discussions with students and have recorded lectures for student resources. Searcy and Hayes said they haven’t had any major issues with the way their professors have been teaching over Zoom.
Hurtado said he wouldn’t be surprised if the university goes back to an entirely Zoom format.
“It depends on the professors and if they are ready for it or not,” Hurtado said.
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