Students give mixed reviews on whether in-person classes are the most effective method of teaching

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Staff Reporter

For many, the 2020-21 academic year will be online. Most departments have shifted from in-person classes to either online or real-time online. 

Real-time online classes are classes that require students to be on their computer during a set time during the day, just like going to a class on campus. 

Online classes have had mixed reviews throughout the first quarter. 

Hospitality tourism and event management major Ian Collins said learning online is in no way a good method of schooling. 

“I like having the instruction,” Collins said. 

Collins currently attends archery and recreation classes on campus. 

“Honestly I pay thousands of dollars to teach myself how to do my own classwork. It’s fucked,” Collins said. 

Collins believes the university should come up with a way to have in-person classes with everyone wearing masks and staying as far apart as possible in a classroom setting. 

In terms of contracting the virus, Collins said in-person classes are not the way he believes he would become afflicted. 

“I feel like it’s a whole lot safer in class than it is with my roommates going out and seeing people,” Collins said. “We don’t come home and wear masks. I feel like if I’m going to get [COVID-19], it’s going to be from one of my roommates or at the grocery store or something like that.” 

Certain departments, for example the communications department, are all online. This is not necessarily possible for departments such as the music program. 

Music major Nathan Sharp said he is extremely happy that he can still play his instrument and participate in person. 

“I’m very happy that string orchestra is in person,” Sharp said. 

According to Sharp, there are specific groups that are allowed to gather for practice. 

“There’s no winds like clarinets and flutes. There’s no brass like trumpets because of the aerosols that they create,” Sharp said. “String players don’t require the creation of an air stream, so it is just strings.”

Sharp says it is difficult to comment on the methods the university has taken in regard to students’ health and success during the quarter. 

“It’s really tricky to comment on that because I know there’s very legitimate dangers,” Sharp said. “But at the same time, it’s tough to see that it (COVID) could be right in front of you.” 

One of the hardest parts of the quarter according to Sharp is when the orchestra performs virtually. The orchestra is only allowed to practice in person, not have a live performance. 

For musicians, keeping time is an important part in a successful performance. Sharp says it is almost impossible during virtual performances. 

“It is simply not possible to make music with a person over Zoom or Skype,” Sharp said.

Part of being a musician is giving the audience a great show and for them to enjoy the music. Sharp said it feels like the work put in during practice at times feels like for nothing. 

“We’re still practicing two hours a day,” Sharp said. “It’s hard work. But the payoff, the energy, really playing together with a group of musicians having an experience like that. It really makes it worth it at the end of the day.” 

In-person performances have been shut down since March for the university. 

“It’s coming up on a year pretty soon, and we’ve done all of the work without reward for a long time now and it’s getting difficult,” Sharp said.