Coronavirus: Calgary post-secondary students react to 1st month of online learning

Click to play video: 'Universities to increase in-class learning for winter semester'
Universities to increase in-class learning for winter semester
WATCH: As students and staff adjust to online learning classes this semester, the University of Calgary says it will increase in-class learning to 30 per cent from 20. Jenna Freeman reports – Oct 5, 2020

It has been approximately one month since post-secondary students headed back to school, most of them online.

On Friday, the University of Calgary announced it was planning to increase the amount of in-class learning for the winter semester from 20 percent to 30 percent.

Marley Gillies, vice-president of the University of Calgary Students’ Union, said the quick transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic was tough.

“The adjustment in the winter semester was really difficult,” said Gillies. “The switch was hard”.

Gillies said while the campus is quiet, behind the scenes, students are busy, and the union is encouraging them to take advantage of clubs still taking place online.

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“We’re hoping that it helps ease the adjustment and make it easier for students to complete their education and still have a social life,” Gillies said.

Joshua Davis has been enrolled in online learning at the U of C since September, and said he’s found the transition challenging.

“The only advantage I really see with online school is that I don’t have to travel,” explained Davis. “It’s really hard because I was excited.”

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Davis, a fourth-year psychology student, was looking forward to some of his courses but said that the online platform isn’t really the same as in-person classes.

“The quality of education is not the same as I was getting in class,” he said. “I’m someone who I consider has very good attention in class, I’m focused, I’m listening to the professor at all times, but at home, I’m listening to sounds outside my window, to the dog.”

Mount Royal University said that it plans to renew most of its in-class courses for the winter and then will look at a case-by-case basis to see if the school can offer more on-campus classes.

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President Tim Rahilly said early in August that students voiced concerns about online plans, but since then, the school had been receiving positive feedback.

“Most of what I’ve heard from students has been positive,” said Rahilly. “Students are pleased and are feeling that sense of connection that Mount Royal is known for.”

Rahilly said the school will also be keeping a close eye on COVID-19 numbers as the school proceeds with winter semester plans.

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