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Student Opinions: Online Learning and The New Normal

Students around campus | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Students around campus | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University (WSU) students have been learning remotely for the past two semesters. Students have noticed a negative impact on their relationships within the classroom and have mixed thoughts on what the new normal will look like. 

Online learning 

Fourth-year mechanical engineering student with a minor in business Jon Peterson currently lives off-campus with his family.  

Peterson attends one on-campus class per week, but still feels limited in their social interactions. They also have to focus on their job along with school work.   

“The main cause of my stress would be online schooling. It seems that professors believe that online schooling is best done by giving out more assignments and quizzes. I do not learn online as well as I would as if I was in a classroom which makes these frequent quizzes more challenging. For me, this increase is terrible because I still am working a job and it is hard to balance work, college and a social life with these increased assignments,” said Peterson. 

Senior psychology major Cody Daniel takes all online classes along with living in the Dayton area with three roommates. 

“We’re not at odds with each other or anything, we respect each other’s space even though we’re cooped up,” said Daniel.  

Both WSU students believe that in-person learning is easier for them than essentially teaching themselves online. According to Daniel, if the coronavirus pandemic was not here, they would be going out more and meeting new people. 

Social interactions 

According to Peterson, the coronavirus pandemic has limited their social interactions, such as going to bars and restaurants.  

“There’s just no way to talk or connect with peers. Online is really inorganic and there’s no incentive or motivation to do stuff. The entire social aspect of college life has been stripped away, which is unfortunate, but necessary,” said Daniel. 

Daniel has stopped going to different organizations and clubs because of a lack of involvement but has hope for the future.  

“I think this sort of isolation will foster a new appreciation for social interaction. Once everything comes back, I think there will be an uptake in clubs and organizations because of this,” said Daniel.  

Preparing for the future 

Daniel has family members who have been impacted by the coronavirus and asks that people wear masks to protect themselves and others from getting sick.  

“It’s such a small thing to do that not only helps you and other people around you. I understand that it’s not what people are used to, but I would rather have a minor discomfort rather than getting a horrible disease,” said Daniel.  

Peterson shares Daniel’s feelings about wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I personally do not enjoy wearing masks but I understand that the best way to end this pandemic as fast as possible is to wear them. I know many people who do not like them or refuse to wear them, but I do not think it is my place to try and force them to wear them,” said Peterson.  

Success Coach of the Student Retention Team Catherine Hernandez believes that these situations will help students in the future. 

“A lot of the challenges that students face at the university are really just preparation for life after the university,” said Hernandez.  

According to Hernandez, students struggling with the remote structure may find themselves in jobs that have remote work. If students learn to be successful in doing online college and can adapt to these changes, they will be better equipped for the future.  

“It’s been a really long road, but these times will pass eventually. I’m sure that there will be changes, some good and bad. It’s the small stuff that we have to do in order to go back to our regular activities. We’ll be alright,” said Daniel.  

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