| March 24th, 2020

FAMU Students Voice Mixed Feelings Regarding Virtual Classes

By: Raiyana Malone
FAMU Students Voice Mixed Feelings Regarding Virtual Classes

FAMU’s weeklong spring break was scheduled to start on March 16, and last through the 20th, but with the number of coronavirus cases increasing across the United States each day, beaches and popular vacation spots began to close. Students were encouraged to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, halting the plans of many. 

As of March 23, the same date students were to return to school from spring break, the number of coronavirus cases across the state of Florida reached over 1,000 with most of them being travel or contact related. 

In response, one-by-one colleges and universities have made the swift decision to shift all classrooms to online instruction via Blackboard and Zoom. 

A statement released from FAMU indicates the executive decision for instruction to be online for the remainder of the semester, a decision that did not sit well with the majority of the student body. 

This decision has forced students and teachers to neglect what notions they previously held about traditional learning environments to quickly adapt for the next five weeks.

Alexandra Williams, a junior Education student, now views understanding coursework as next to impossible. 

“I cannot learn like this, I am not retaining any information. I don’t even enjoy having to take exams online now. I’m expected to take 15 credit hours online while in a new learning environment,” said Williams.

Based on the circumstances, other students feel that professors should cut out virtual instruction time and post the assignments with due dates in light of some students having limited access to resources to connect to the video conferencing app. 

“I’d rather just not be virtual,” Danielle Orange, a Health Science student at FAMU, said. “Just keep the syllabus the same and give me my work on Blackboard.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the virus and how it could shape the future of education, some students are optimistic about the school’s decision. 

Derrick Jones, a political science student, is curious to see how the rest of the semester unfolds, considering everyone’s at-home circumstances differ. 

“I feel as if no one was truly prepared for it. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out for a lot of students. A lot are back home and some may be in situations where they may not be able to do certain things electronically.” 

For Journalism student, Simone Williams, moving to online instruction has increased her overall productivity and improved the quality of her life. 

“There’s no time lost commuting back and forth to school and between buildings. Plus there are some classes that just do not need class time…Now most of those classes are completely project-based like they always should have been,” said Williams. 

The mixed feelings regarding the shift to online course-work paint an uneasy yet telling picture about the varying access to resources and opportunities students have when they go home. While attending FAMU, the playing field may be level but on a case-by-case basis, each student’s circumstance is not the same.