Are students surviving online/hybrid classes or suffering?

Lyric Hill, General Assignment

FRANKFORT, Ky. – As the pandemic is still raging in the USA, the students at Kentucky State University have to follow school guidelines to protect themselves and others from contracting COVID-19.

To have the best school year possible, the institution has given students a choice on whether they want to take online or hybrid classes. Since the pandemic has begun, schools worldwide have had to shut their doors to all students. Knowing this, online classes have been pushed to the centerfold, as students and faculty compromise during the pandemic, with K-State being no exception.

Some students have had issues getting the tools they need to complete their work.

Dakota Waldridge, a senior at KSU, talks about his experience so far with the online/hybrid classes.

“I’m lucky, to be passing my classes with all A’s. However, it has been extremely difficult, because I don’t have internet at my house. So, I have to find a way to make it to my sister’s house just to take a test, and turn in assignments.”

Faculty don’t have it easy either. Krissalyn Love, coordinator of Advising and Student Success, talked about plans for this semester and how hard it is to connect with students since face-to-face has been limited.

“It was such a disheartening time last semester. It really felt like I saw students struggling from afar, and I literally could not reach them. This semester I’ve put things in place to try to combat some of that. I’ve made goals of reaching out to my students via email once every two weeks, soon advising will be having TGIF sessions on Zoom, where every Friday students can log on and see their advisor and talk about any issue that they are having, I’m also trying to get an early alert system off the ground. It is ten times harder to reach students during the pandemic so that means it will take ten times worth the effort. I don’t always get it right but I definitely try to do right by students.”

Ma’Kayla Reeves, a junior with a major in nursing at KSU, explains issues she has had with virtual learning.

“I’m not really a person that can stare at a computer screen and learn. It’s like me watching YouTube videos; so, it’s not the same as being in class where I can really focus and pay attention.”

This is one of a few issues with online learning, as each student learns material differently.  When it comes to focusing on work online, not everyone is going to adapt the same way, even with it being a year now into this pandemic.

In Franklin county, COVID numbers are over 3,000 cases, and Kentucky has had 395,000 cases and growing. This pandemic is not over, but signs of promise are around as vaccines are starting to be rolled out.