The spring 2020 semester was not what anyone had expected.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, students at Salt Lake Community College and throughout the world have made the switch to online classes. Even though this was just one of many changes to our everyday lives, online learning can have its benefits.
“During this unique fall semester, SLCC is redoubling its efforts to provide you the maximum amount of course flexibility and student support,” reads the COVID-19 student information webpage.
Although online classrooms are brand new territory for many people, teachers and administrators have worked hard to be able to deliver a class that is enjoyable while also being educational.
“Because I have ADHD, some people are surprised when I tell them I prefer online classes to campus,” said SLCC alumni Cassidy Biehn. “Online requires much more self-motivation and independence, but it also allows me to do assignments at my own pace.”
Though some will only argue the downsides of online schooling, there are many upsides to consider.
More free time: Since schooling can be done from just about anywhere with cell service or internet, there is more time to do some of the things you love or try something new.
Flexibility: Many people have started working again, trying to make ends meet and make up for wages lost during the shutdown. Online schooling offers scheduling flexibility, allowing you to pick up that extra shift or a couple hours here and there. Remember to plan and prioritize so you don’t burn yourself out.
Biehn, who is currently a creative writing major at Weber State University, enjoys the freedom of doing courses online.
“It’s also more flexible, so I can do school and still work full time,” Biehn said. “Like any class, in-person or online, the key is to adapt to your instructor’s teaching style. Stay in contact with them — check in weekly and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep a planner. Open Canvas at least once a day.”
Comfort: For me, waking up five minutes before class and only having to put on a hat and t-shirt is an upside to broadcast lectures. Pants are now optional, and besides, who has time for hair and make-up anyway? Plus, if mornings just aren’t your thing, getting your day started around 10:30 is a bonus.
Review and study: By taking online classes, students can review material and take things as slow or as fast as they need. For some individuals, it is easier to learn when they can re-watch a lecture or spend more time on a certain subject; this just is not possible when attending an in-person class. However, online courses allow you to review certain topics in-depth, so when that dreaded final comes around, you are prepared to ace it.
Change can come with anxiety and new hurdles to overcome. It is a challenge that students and teachers are facing together.
SLCC has a lot of resources and materials to help students transition smoothly. Browse the college’s coronavirus updates page for more information.
An earlier version of this story originally appeared in the 2020 back to school issue.