Due to Covid-19, schools across the country have had both completely online classes and hybrid classes. This was an adjustment here at Spring Hill College for many students who have never had online classes before. With classes being online, it made learning a more difficult task than in person learning. Now that students are able to receive the COVID vaccine, students and staff are hopeful that classes will be face-to-face next semester.
Both traditional and e-learning have their advantages and disadvantages. According to Michigan State University, an advantage of online learning is that students can go at their own pace on their own time. A disadvantage is that students at times could be left unengaged and not held accountable for missing work. E-learning allows students to be independent, but it also allows students to at times be bored.
Hybrid learning is a mix between learning in person and online. This was set in place so the classroom schedule could be flexible. If COVID cases went up, the class could become online. If COVID cases went down, the class could slowly transition more into in-person learning. If it were up to the students, most of them would choose either completely online classes or completely in-person classes. According to Education Week, “some schools have set aside the bulk of slots for in-person instruction for vulnerable groups like students with special needs, English-language learners, and students experiencing homelessness.” In this case, while hybrid classes are not ideal for some students, it allows students who need in-person learning to receive it.
This past year at Spring Hill, students have been able to take both online and hybrid classes. First semester on the Hill, it was rare for a student to have a completely in person class. Senior Patrick O’Connor says “online classes helped me learn time management without having a routine schedule but lost touch and focus on a classroom environment.” While online classes can be beneficial, the social aspect of in-person learning was lost this year. Second semester on the Hill there were less Covid cases and more in-person classes were offered. This helped many students feel like they had a community on campus again.
While attending Spring Hill College this past year there has been a lot of changes. All of the students went from fully in-person classes to now having no set schedule at all. This has been a very hard transition for many of the students here. I personally would rather have either all online classes or all in-person classes just so I could have a set schedule. With mixing hybrid and online classes it became difficult to manage time.
Though I understand why Spring Hill had to have online and hybrid classes, I feel like I lost touch with a lot of people because of this. The people I would see on a normal day basis in class, I would rarely see anymore. I am very hopeful that next year in-person classes return so the connections I have made in the past three years continue on for my final year here.