This spring break has been the longest of my life. I say that figuratively of course because it has been everything short of a break.
On March 11, I returned home to Bentonville, Arkansas expecting a couple weeks off due to the Pandy, then a return to school at some point in April. It is September 8th, and I am still at home in Arkansas. These are truly unprecedented times, and this will be the first blog in a series describing what I have been doing over the past six months.
Let’s start out with online classes of Spring 2020. No one had ever dealt with such large scale online learning, and as you can imagine, it came with a lot of learning curves that both professors and students had to balance. First off, what the heck was zoom? It is weird to think about, but at that time, none of us knew what zoom was. Now, we are all very well versed.
Below, I am going to go into the good and bad about online classes, not about quarantine, but the online classes themselves.
What was nice:
Class in bed — too tired to roll out of bed to go to class? Don’t! Bring the laptop to you and do classes in the comfort of bed
Family time — online classes (and quarantine) gave me the opportunity to spend time with my family before the next stage of my life begins
Recorded lectures — missed a lecture? Too tired to attend? No problem. It was required that all lectures were recorded, so I could always go back and watch it if I missed it for whatever reason (going golfing included)
What was not so nice:
Courseload — the online schooling made some professors feel as if they could give more work because we did not have as much to do, which is far from the truth.
Online labs — learning how to do a lab and being tested on it without actually doing the lab proved to be extremely difficult (shocker right?). There was no hands on experience, leading to a gap in the learning experience.
No Collaboration — there was no way to have productive discussions as a group during class. It was very difficult to explain concepts to peers while lecture was going on online. In addition, finding extra time that worked with colleagues to work on homework that worked for everyone was almost impossible.
In summary, it is no surprise that online classes are just not it. But, there is no other option and USC has done a great job to ensure that we stay safe and healthy. A couple months of online class really never hurt anybody.
Tune in in a couple of weeks for the next installment of the longest spring break ever!