Highline College

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Students have mixed experience with Zoom

Ashlee Stacy Staff Reporter May 27

Highline students are having mixed experiences with online classes this quarter.

Some students have said some of their classes use Zoom, while their other classes use pre-recorded lectures for class. Zoom is a video-conferencing app used by Highline. It allows people to conduct live virtual meetings by computer.

Highline student Janine Gransrtand said that most of her classes uses uploaded, pre-recorded lectures and she only has one class on Zoom.

“I use Zoom quite often but only for office hours and to study with classmates,” Granstrand said. “Since everything is now online, I have to push myself a lot more to get help when I’m struggling because of the virtual limitation,” Granstrand said.

“There’s only so much help you can get from your teachers through the webcam.”

Some students say that some of their classes use Zoom for the office hours and meetings.

Nouha Bencherfi attends Highline and said her classes are mostly conducted through Zoom.

One of her professors utilizes the breakout feature for small group discussions. Breakout rooms is a feature on Zoom that allows the host of the meeting to put people into small groups for discussions.

“My statistics professor puts us in breakout rooms to solve a problem together and figure it out,” Bencherfi said.

“One of the participants usually does a screen share and we either talk about the problem or compare our answers.”

Bencheri is also a worker at the Writing Center at Highline and she said that it is difficult to balance work and classes.

“Many of us are trying to separate our work and school duties from house duties and it’s a bit difficult to make time for everything,” Bencherfi said.

“I prefer online formats for classes because I can work and watch lectures at my own pace rather than having to be on Zoom at specific times.”

Some students that use Zoom for their classes, but some students that haven’t used it at all.

Carlos Muscat is a student at Highline and said there are increased distractions that have caused it harder to get work done.

“Zoom is only is used for office hours. We just complete the assignments by the given due date,” Muscat said. “If I had been forced to participate in Zoom lectures, I would’ve paid less attention than I would in real life due to the increased amount of distractions at home.”

Other students have said they prefer not to use Zoom for lectures, instead relying videos sent by professors.

Daniel Vuong said his classes videos instead of Zoom.

“My classes run mainly on pre-recorded lectures videos, usually on Panopto,” Vuong said. “My math class relies on just reading notes and the textbook.”

Panapto is an online video platform used to record lectures on computers.

“I personally have not used Zoom, but students are allowed to use it to contact the teacher,” Vuong said.

Organization is what Vuong said was important for conducting an online class. “Online classes typically have a higher workload to compensate for loss time in the classroom,” Vuong said.

“It would be helpful if all the assignments and materials were well organized.”

“If your professors aren’t doing Zoom meetings, then I think it is important for them to be more responsive to e-mails,” Vuong said. “Pre-recorded lectures and notes aren’t interactive and doesn’t give you a chance to ask questions during the lectures.”

Outside of school, people are using Zoom just to say in touch.

Highline faculty and staff recently used Zoom to continue a longstanding tradition of a monthly potluck. Normally, the potluck is held live on campus, but with the campus shut down for spring, they turned to Zoom.

Participants discussed each person's experiences in quarantine.

“It’s been interesting visiting people through Zoom because in a way you get to see into people's lives from a different perspective,” said Jennifer Sandler, Highline associate dean of Accessibility Resources.

At the potluck, questions were asked about what people did during the time in quarantine. Some have been taking walks in their neighborhoods, or painting rocks and putting them on people’s doorsteps.

Reporter Laila Goings contributed to this story.