Photo via Chase Hawkins.

Spring 2021 – Familiar or Frustrating?

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., – With less than 3 weeks left until students return home for the remainder of the semester and class scheduling already under way for the Spring 2021 semester, students are tense about a socially distanced return in Jan. 

Shepherd Nursing student Cheyenne Hutzler, believes that the format taken on by Shepherd this past semester has granted them a safer college experience during this pandemic.

“The current format has helped myself and others feel safe,” Hutzler stated.

Similarly, other students believe that the flexible schedules granted by this semester helped them to lay the groundwork of their individual learning.

“I do appreciate the somewhat laid-back schedules for classes now, as they allow me to set a path for a personalized pace to work at,” said Coleman Jacobs.

Other students feel that this current system complicates previously simple classes. As said by Austyn Jones, “for me, there have been a few times where the online format has allowed me to procrastinate more.”

Freshman Jill Bowman said, “I feel like this format is causing a ton of students to struggle. It’s insane trying to navigate so many websites I am unfamiliar with. I managed to get a handle on it towards the end of the semester, so hopefully next semester will be easier. I think having normal classes will help me a lot one we finally return to in person classes.”

Students believe that having more consistency between professors in the formatting of classes on Sakai would help simplify some of the issues faced during the first semester of distance learning. 

“The key thing professors need to do is keep up with their students. Constant interaction is important to making formats such as this work,” said Jacobs.

“The lack of consistency from my professors has made this semester difficult. Having professors that are more active in reaching out to keep everyone on the right track has helped me this semester.”

The format the Spring 2021 semester will take has already affected the courses students are choosing. With more students opting for synchronous classes over asynchronous ones, it does not look like Zoom will be leaving our computers for the time being.

“While I miss attending clubs and events, knowing that this is all a learning process for everyone is a large comfort. You are not alone with how you feel,” said Ford.

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