In-person or online: why not both?
We should continue offering hybrid in-person and online schooling even after the pandemic is over
C/O Mikael Kristenson
By: Belinda Tam, Contributor
Having the option of an in-person and online semester for fall 2021 should continue to be offered to students even after the pandemic is over, whether they are domestic or international.
The flexibility that comes with having this option can impact many students’ university experience and since the pandemic began, the university has shown that they have the flexibility that is required to transition from in-person to fully online.
In terms of course content, having the option to re-watch lectures, having lecture slides beforehand and booking time with professors and teaching assistants are three key beneficial things that have helped my own personal learning and development.
During a so-called “regular semester”, some professors do not record their lectures and if students miss that class, it is up to the student to catch up with other resources. This could include getting a peer’s notes, doing the readings or going to office hours.
However, with online learning, most professors post their recorded lectures and as a result, students are more efficient at studying. They can easily refer back to what the professor said during any point in previously recorded lectures for assessments such as assignments, midterms and final exams. This can be a great benefit for students who may miss classes for a variety of reasons.
For international students, having a hybrid option can be beneficial — for example, if an international student opts-in for online school, they won’t have to worry about housing. In addition to the hefty tuition price that international students have to pay, housing is a major cost to consider.
An obvious downside to doing online school; however, is the time difference. But as previously mentioned, since many lectures are being recorded, this could alleviate the burden of staying up at bizarre times.
Going forward, having online courses should always be an option as online learning can be more accessible for disabled and international students. As some students may be unable to leave their homes or aren’t comfortable with in-person learning quite yet, they should have the option to take course content online.
In addition, having an option for both online and in-person schooling is something that would benefit everyone when it comes to time management. We only have 24 hours in a day, after all.
If you choose to live off-campus, time must be dedicated to things such as grocery shopping and potentially long commutes. In comparison, having the option to do online school gets rid of that time running errands and allows one to dedicate it to schoolwork.
As vaccinations are still rolling out, it is important to note that students’ situations can vary and change at any moment. By offering both an online and in-person option, we will be able to be more inclusive and accommodating for each students’ situation.