Students and faculty say online classes make learning passive.

By Mark Finley
November 2, 2020


Just like the rest of the country Cabrini is has been affected by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus has affected the way students are able to learn for this semester, the last semester and the following semester.

Last semester after the coronavirus reached America all classes would be move online. Most schools including Cabrini used companies such as Zoom or Blackboard.

Zoom is software that provides video telephony and online chat services. Zoom is free to use and all people have to do is create an account.

This is Zoom’s logo. Many people have seen this logo a lot this year. (Newsweek)

This semester Cabrini has offered students three different classroom settings. The three different settings are in-person, online and hyflex.

In-person classes are classes held in the traditional way except everyone but everyone is socially distant and wearing a mask. Also, students have to wipe their area before they leave with a Clorox wipe.

Online classes are classes held online with Zoom or entirely online. The classes that use zoom have a set time and days of the week they will meet. The students and professors are in their own personal spaces. Most students take their zoom class in their dorm room, while the professors teach the class either from their own home or from a classroom. Classes that are entirely online do not meet as a class. Students have deadlines to hand in their work and take quizzes and tests but never meet in a classroom setting.

The hyflex classes are a mix of both in-person and zoom. Half the students are in-person while the others students are on zoom. Students can choose to be on Zoom instead of coming in-person. The thought behind the hyflex classes were to give students the in-person learning experience while being able to safely socially distance.

The way that Cabrini is able to have hyflex classes are by having cameras in the classroom. The cameras need to be able to show the entire classroom and have a microphone that can share the audio from the classroom to the zoom and vice versa.

These are the types of cameras used for a Hyflex class. (Stemaudio)

Cabrini is offering 272 online class, 158 in person class and 37 hyflex classes this semester.

Many students and teachers have faced problems that they never had to deal with before.

Most of the problems have to deal with technology. Since most classes are dealing with the internet there will be Wi-Fi problems. With no Wi-Fi students and professors will not be able to access or the work for the class.

For example, two weeks ago the Wi-Fi went out all through the east resident hall. The Wi-Fi outage lasted over 18 hours. That Wednesday morning most students who live in east hall were in the library for class.

The Loquitur wanted to get the opinion of the Cabrini students and staff about their experiences with the hyflex and zoom.

Dan Francis, a communication professor at Cabrini University, spoke with Loquitur about having trouble with hyflex cameras and zoom.

“In the short period of time allowed, ITR did an excellent job installing the equipment for hybrid students to be involved in the classroom experience,” Francis said. “The hardware used in the classrooms needs to be installed and is in short supply or backordered, and the faculty needed to overhaul each class to satisfy the needs of both the online and in-person students. Both take a lot of time and is very challenging to do just weeks before the semester starts.”

In the interview the Loquitur asked Francis if he would recommend Cabrini to continue hyflex and Zoom classes after the pandemic is over.

“I think it depends on the course content. I teach a very hands-on class including audio hardware and software,” Francis said. “It’s hard to translate those items into the online world, or a world where people are unable to reach out and interview individuals for class projects.”

“For me personally, I feel that this semester virtually has gone a lot better than the virtual spring semester,” Rachel Virtue, junior biology pre-med major, said. “My classes have been a lot more organized and I had a smoother transition into this years fall semester.”

“As someone who learns better in the classroom, this semester has definitely been an adjustment for me to see how I can improve learning and be successful in all my classes while attending class from my dorm room on campus,” Virtue said. “Learning virtually is not something we all anticipated we would be doing at the beginning of the last semester, but I think Cabrini has done a great job so far.”

Mark Finley

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