Herkimer College is moving forward into the fall semester, yet some students are having a hard time adjusting to the new online learning program. Due to COVID-19 and the new social distancing regulations, most students and professors are mandated to attend classes remotely via Microsoft Teams. This is where students join a class virtually along with their classmates and professors. Although each course has its own curriculum design and requirements, it appears that the majority of the students seem to have the same complaints, as they try to figure out and navigate the online programming.
Jalin Weaver, a senior, decided not to return to campus to complete her studies. The nursing student explained how difficult it has been to do basic things, like join her class meetings via Microsoft Teams. These challenges caused Weaver to miss important lessons and interrupted her ability to stay on top of daily assignments. “I have been having trouble trying to stay focused in class because I can literally be on my phone, go shower or do anything while in class because there is no accountability or structure,” states Weaver. “Then sometimes while I am sitting in the class, the Wi-Fi connection will just drop me from the call,” the former cheerleader further explained.
Most students who have registered for online classes made the choice to continue their education from home. Yet, trying to adapt to this new learning procedure has been stressful while minimizing the traditional classroom structure. Although Microsoft Teams gives its clients the option to turn their camera and microphone on or off, the classroom environment seems to have been compromised, causing some students to suffer.
Students are required to pay full tuition for the virtual courses, as if they were attending classes on campus. Herkimer’s administration is hopeful this transition will become easier for students that are home learning virtually.