Remote learning’s mixed reception

SPU students struggle with online education in Falcon poll

Kyle Morrison, Staff Reporter

For Seattle Pacific University, much like the vast majority of universities across the country, in-person classes have been replaced with online classes due to COVID-19. Campuses are empty as social distancing guidelines remain in place to combat the spread of the pandemic.

Despite the best efforts of professors and administration, there is no way to replicate the in-person learning experience in an online setting.

With this in mind, The Falcon conducted a social media poll via the newspaper’s Instagram account, asking the SPU community if online classes are providing an effective learning environment. A total of 70 SPU students answered, giving their perspective on their online learning experience.

Seventy of SPU students who responded to the poll do not believe that online classes are providing an effective learning environment.

“It’s hard not having lectures in person,” sophomore Sam Barber said in response to an instagram poll. “That used to motivate me to learn more, but now [the motivation] is gone.”

Learning at home, without the benefit of an academic setting can provide many challenges. While staying on task is always a challenge, this roadblock is worsened as students try to navigate the many distractions that come from being home and living with other people.

“At school, I am separated from issues and problems at home,” sophomore Alyssa Buller said. “[Being home] is a distraction for sure.”

College campuses, by their very nature, are designed in the hopes of providing a successful learning environment. Many students depend on in-person interactions with professors, as well as other visual learning benefits that cannot be carried over into online classes.

“[There are] no whiteboards during lecture,” sophomore Hannah Waterman said. “Rest in peace visual learning, [I’m] not immersed in the environment.”

While a vast majority of those polled are not in favor of online classes, 30% of student subjects have no problems with the current academic situation.

“It’s the same content and workload,” sophomore Jason Wooley said. “[It’s] just that lectures are online.”

It is still unclear whether SPU will be able to return for in-person classes in the fall. While the entire SPU community is hoping for a traditional fall quarter to start in September, there are many possibilities for how college life will look in a few months.

Many high schools and colleges including the University of Washington are considering making the curriculum half online and half in person.

“At this time, we anticipate an autumn quarter that includes both in-person and remote elements. For example, some larger classes could be held online with smaller sections held in-person as long as everyone in the room practices social distancing,” the UW Coronavirus webpage said.