The Coronavirus outbreak has affected us in more ways than one. Some students were unable to go home to their families and had to stay on-campus due to being an international student or their parents told them that it was safer for them to stay there. For others, the main issue that we had to go through was adjusting to classes going from face-to-face to online.
Now for some, this process has been a lot easier than others and it could be because professors were flexible on working with students or the material could easily transfer online. If you are a student who has taken classes online during the school year, you would have an easier time adjusting to this sudden change in your daily routine as a college student.
Sadly, not every student was able to be this lucky because some classes are more difficult to transition during this time. This can be backed up with a NinerNotice from the school where if classes were struggling to go online for the week of March 16, they were going to be canceled.
I know that there were articles and posts of colleges in our state and across the country on canceling the semester or going online due to the outbreak. My classmates would always wonder what our school would decide. I also had that same concern but I never shared it with others. I would just listen to hear other perspectives and judge it against my own. On Thursday, Mar. 26, Provost Joan Lorden sent out an email to all of UNC Charlotte’s students and faculty on information about the Pass/No Credit for students who wish to replace the standard letter grades for one or all of their courses for the Spring 2020 semester. The classes will continue until the end of the semester but once the semester ends, the students have until June 1 to request the Pass/No Credit to replace the letter grade for their course. There was a link at the end of the email that provided the details about the Pass/No Credit accommodation.
Even while dealing with all of this while going through an outbreak of a virus that caused people to panic, there are positives and negatives to transitioning from face-to-face classes online. Of course, the positives and negatives vary from person to person depending on the situation that they are in and if they have commitments outside of classes. Ian McQuiston, who is a criminal justice major, discusses the positives and negatives of this transition from face-to-face to online classes. "I am able to go over the class material at my own pace. This allows me to understand the material better than in a fifty-five-minute class...the main negative of transitioning to online classes is that there is no more face-to-face interaction with one's professor," McQuiston said.
He states that the Pass/No credit option would be best since there are students who do not excel in online learning and how their GPA would be affected negatively if this option was not available.
Jonathan Paddock, a journalism professor at UNCC, also examined the benefits of this transition to online.
"There are all kinds of tools out there to teach students in ways you couldn't in the classroom, even to tailor the learning to an individual student based on, say, how that student responds to a question," Paddock said.
Paddock also talks about the negatives that can come along with having to teach a class online that is normally face-to-face. "I'd say not getting to know students is the biggest negative. It's easy also for students to get lost, not turning in assignments, not doing any of the work; it takes a lot of intentional effort on the teacher's part to go find that student online and see what's going on," Paddock explained.
Tara Gabriel, another student at UNCC who's an education major, analyzes what she believes are the positives and negatives for this transition. "I think this makes you have to be flexible and adaptable to arising situations...Some people are not prioritizing and forget school is still in session, not due to laziness but forgetfulness," Gabriel stated.
She also discusses the University's response to the virus outbreak and keeping students in the loop about what is going on. "I think the school officials have done an outstanding job at communicating updates and announcements not only affecting our school but also the community/county. I am constantly getting emails on Mecklenburg County and the university," Gabriel said.
This transition has affected us in different ways. I'm sure that there are students who are handling it well while there are others who are struggling to adjust to this new routine. It is going to take a while for students to get used to this, especially if their main concern is about the virus outbreak.
Personally, I have had a tough time adjusting to my classes since it was so sudden. I felt like I had almost no time to adjust to it and just had to hope for the best. I have been severely stressed and anxious due to the responsibilities of my own schoolwork along with my internship and helping my brother out with his schoolwork. It can be challenging to juggle all of this, and I know that the professors, like students, have adjustments to make to this too. I hope that they keep in mind that there are other things that students are worried about and have to focus on besides the workload that keeps piling on top of each other.