Not all college students making easy adjustment to online classes

By Jeffrey Baptiste 
Outlook Writer

Not being able to take courses in the traditional classroom setting in college is a bit challenging for some students. Thus, the platform for taking classes on-line doesn’t matter.

However, that is what things have come to for students enrolled in college in Tallahassee because of coronavirus. All three institutions of higher learning in the city have shut down face-to-face classed for almost two weeks now, offering only on-line classes. 

The general consensus is that not being able to do hands-on lab work just seems odd. Take FAMU transfer nursing student Betty Williams, for example.

 She is among the hundreds of medical students who are struggling with doing labs digitally. 

“On-line courses are not the same as in person,” Williams said. “I have found it to be much more difficult to concentrate now that public workspaces are closed. I take regular classes because I don’t perform as well in on-line classes and I just don’t like them.” 

Williams and all other FAMU found out that they will have to finish the semester with on-line classes while they were on spring break. It’s part of the state’s response to the pandemic in an attempt to reduce spread of the virus known as COVID 19. FAMU has also asked some students to evacuate their on-campus dorms.

Some FAMU students are finding it difficult to adjust to not being in the traditional classroom setting.
Photo special to the Outlook

Additionally, the university has announced it will allow students the option of receiving letter grades or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) for eligible courses taken during the spring semester.

The change has prompted students to circulate an on-line petition, voicing their concerns about switching from traditional letter grades to a pass-fail system. The petition has also been circulating among students from FSU and Tallahassee Community College.

The changes have been especially disruptive for Isaiah Giles, a college of engineering sophomore.

“As a college student this pandemic has altered my balance,” said Giles. “I was laid off my part time job and have missed several assignments due to my lack of resources.”

Meanwhile, students’ concern seems to be more about having to take classes on line.

“I am now finishing my senior semester on line,” said Joseph Samuels, who is worried about how it will all play out. “Online classes are difficult to manage and I am uncertain if these adjustments will impact my GPA for graduate school.” 

Grades from the on-line classes also have Myles Davis, a junior majoring in business administration, on edge. 

 “I have taken math online courses and done poorly,” he said. “I depend on campus resources and tutors to help me prepare and better understand the material.”

Even some students who are taking computer programming and web development classes aren’t comfortable with the idea of on-line instructions. Deja Gibson is one of those students.

 “Learning how to program has become difficult to process while learning from home,” said Gibson, a sophomore at TCC. “We tend to study in groups and with social distancing in effect; I have not been doing well since the break.”