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Fill in the blank: Best format of classes

Summer Fitzgerald

A student’s laptop displays the opening screen for Blackboard, NIU’s primary website for classes. Blackboard is still vital to classes no matter the method of instruction.

The COVID-19 pandemic has called for a shift in learning methods throughout all levels of education. Classic in-person classes have been replaced with several alternatives, including hybrid, online and asynchronous sessions. Hear from some of our staffers on what their favorite method of learning is:

In-person classes provide students with motivation

Summer FitzgeraldOpinion Editor

My entire education has been taught in person for my whole life, up until the pandemic. It is what I am used to and have been doing nonstop. When classes were switched to 100% online, my grades and mental health suffered tremendously. Being cooped up in my bedroom for several hours a day trying to do online school is just not possible for me at all. Getting outside, walking around campus and seeing people face-to-face is the highlight of my educational career.

In-person classes allow me the motivation and real-life experiences I need to earn my degree. A lot of my coursework is hands-on experience with film/photography equipment, which cannot be compromised for online Zoom sessions.

Hybrid classes give students independent space

Ally Formeller, Columnist

Hybrid classes give me the opportunity to learn on my own without being completely asynchronous and self-taught. For me, hybrid classes are the perfect mix between getting to see my professors and classmates in person while also having the flexibility to work at my own pace. Hybrid classes also tend to have a more manageable timeframe in which to complete work.

Hybrid classes give me space to work out problems and class material on my own first, which is how I learn best. During my time at NIU, I’ve felt that hybrid classes, especially for math and science, are extremely helpful and engaging.

Online classes allow flexibility

Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Columnist

Entirely online courses allow me to have a flexible schedule. Back home, I worked at a locally owned grocery store. One of my supervisor’s greatest challenges were creating a schedule each week that accommodated everyone’s classes.

It is no secret that most college students are strapped for cash, and they need a source of income while still attending school. Equally, employers greatly value the employee who is available to be in the office, or behind the register. I have found that taking a few asynchronous courses frees up my schedule, allowing me to obtain the I need on the clock. Online courses have allowed me more time to work toward success in several areas in and out of the classroom.

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