STORY AND PHOTO BY ANDREA GONZALEZ
This fall semester at Cypress College, a students said they had mixed feelings about whether or not in-person classes are better than virtual learning.
In March 2020, an unexpected turn of events happened when schools shifted from in-person learning to virtual classroom learning, and it proved to be a difficult adjustment for some Cypress students.
Students were once able to get up from their seats and walk across the room to ask their instructors a quick question, but now they have to send an email and wait for a response, which can usually take hours or days for some students. Inconveniences like these are what make in-person learning beneficial to students, they said.
By now, most students should be very familiar and comfortable with zoom, considering that this platform was used-and is still being used- for virtual learning at many institutions. Yet, for some, it is still frustrating to not be on campus, especially when it is their first year at college.
Having come from an interactive social environment at his high school, Aaron Goclowski, a freshman majoring in studio arts, wished that all of his classes this semester were on campus. “A campus setting allows me to feel refreshed and mentally affirmed with the air and physical movement I get,” said Goclowski.
Being on campus is truly something every freshman going into college should experience. Given that all of his classes were only available online, this was something he did not have the opportunity to do.
Last school year became stressful for Goclowski; Having to deal with constant internet problems, he’s aware of the limitations and strains it provides to his learning abilities. “Internet drop outs, slow bandwidth, and other miscellaneous problems caused a great deal of stress and anxiety for me as they would impact my ability to perform academically,” Goclowski said.
According to a recent survey conducted by College Pulse and the Charles Koch Foundation, with a sample size of 5,000 undergraduate students who are currently enrolled full-time in two-and four-year degree programs in the U.S., “Sixty-two percent of students say online courses are less effective than in-person classes in helping students develop critical thinking.”
Mariana Hanna, a hotel management major at Cypress College, agreed that it was tough to transition from in-person learning at school to the sudden online format through a laptop.
“It was a hard transition at first. Being in person is better for me because if I have a question I can ask my instructor right away and get a response, instead of sending an email and waiting for a response,” said Hanna.
Although data from the College Pulse and Charles Koch Foundations indicated that students feel as if they underperform while learning through zoom, two students have chosen not to take classes on campus this semester for various reasons.
“It was fun, it wasn’t hard. I learn better without being in a classroom. It was just super easy for me to get up two minutes before class starts without having to wake up a whole hour beforehand just to get ready,” said Tiffany Salvatierra, a sociology major at Cypress.
“I prefer remote learning because it works better for my schedule. And although I am fully vaccinated, I don’t want to risk catching COVID-19 or even the delta variant in a condensed environment like a classroom,” stated Andy Gonzalez, another sociology major at Cypress.
Andy understood that people have their preferences and that they ultimately know what’s best for themselves. He continued, “However a student prefers to learn, Cypress College has still given us the option to have classes either on zoom or in person, and that’s something I appreciate.”