Highline College

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Students have mixed experience with distance learning, coronavirus shut down

Thunderword staff May 27

Highline students and others in the community have had mixed reactions to all the changes brought about by coronavirus restrictions.

“I’m having fun playing video games with my friends and cousins,” one student said early in the quarter.

Others appear to have taken it a little more seriously.

Highline student Kaitlin Haney is taking biology and statistics and said she prefers the in-class experience.

“Learning online has been different for me,” she said. “I’ve taken online classes before, however they were meant to be online and set up that way.”

Haney said she struggles with learning the required material, while making time for virtual labs for her biology class.

“I take in the information a lot more than a zoom video,” Haney said. “By having to learn such a hard topic for me personally, I never wanted to have it online.”

Zoom videos are harder for some students than driving to class and learning in a classroom every day.

“This has created a more difficult learning environment,” Haney said.

Haney said she would like her statistics class to have a Zoom sessions, like her biology class.

“I would change my stats class to use Zoom rather than just reading the textbook and basically learning on our own,” Haney said.

Highline student Maryam Hussein is studying precalculus and chemistry.

“I don’t like learning online because it’s more difficult having to do so many things in such little time,” she said.

Julian Martinez, a student who attends Central Washington University, said he has had a “good experience” with online classes so far.

“Not only do I get to study at home on my own time but I also get to go back home with my family,” he said.

On the other hand, Viviana Guerrero, a student who attends Western Washington University, said she does not like online classes as much.

“Some of my classes I take on Zoom, but others are optional and I do them on my own time,” Guerrero said.

I don’t like taking online classes,” she said. “I don’t like how in some of my classes, I won’t get to get hands-on experience like I did in previous quarters.”

James Brown, a freshman at Highline, has been feeling a little “school-sick,” he said.

“I miss the little interactions you have with your professor. Online meetings make it hard to get a real feel for the course,” Brown said. “I’m just more used to being in class in person so I guess I miss the atmosphere.”

Organization is one of the keys, he said.

“The hardest part is waking up and getting myself ready to be in my class meetings,” Brown said. “It’s easier for me to lose track of time and it’s harder to keep a schedule now that I’m stuck inside.”

It may be a struggle, but Brown said he has found a way to stay afloat.

“I’ve done well myself, but I’ve missed more classes than I’ve ever missed before because of these online classes,” he said.

Brown said he would prefer live classes in the future.

“I’d say in person. It’s good to have the opportunity to get out the house and see people as well as interact with them.”

Alyssia Collins said she’s already in summer vacation mode.

“Everyone’s classes moved online,” she said. “So, we are doing work and we have zoom meetings every week for attendance.

“But if you have good grades, then you do not have to do it, because your grade can only go improve. So, all you have to do is check in for attendance which you can do with just a simple email,” Collins said.

“I’m relieved that I’m just a part time college student, because I’m not really good at multitasking and I prefer having in person teaching,” she said. “I would be all over the place right now.”

Micah Jessie, who is also is in his first year at Highline, has found some positive effects in this situation.

“I like having my own personal time and I’ve found more time for work lately so, having classes all online hasn’t really been that bad,” Jessie said. “I’ve been able to do my assignments at times that are convenient for me.”

Still he said he misses personal interaction.

“I wish I were able to see certain faces and interact,” Jessie said. “The social part definitely has been taken away all together. In person office hour visits did help a lot, the teachers are there to help you in depth.”

And then there’s work, or not.

Aleena Wilson, a Highline student, said, “I’m still employed but my store (Starbucks) got shut down until May 4,” she said earlier this month. “I’m still getting paid, fortunately. But not working actually has been really good for my mental health. It’s a lot less stress.”

Reporters Janmarco Contreras-Torres, Laila Goings, Della Verdi, and Mahlik Hall contributed to this story.