COVID-19’s Effect on Learning

By: Haley Lux

The continued spread of COVID-19 in New York finds students balancing between in-person, hybrid, and either asynchronous or synchronous online classes throughout the fall semester at Daemen College. 

Hybrid classes typically meet in person one or two times a week, with the rest of instruction being placed online. Asynchronous classes have students accessing pre-recorded material at their own pace with due dates. Synchronous classes are still fully online, but they are conducted in real time.

Students have a tendency to prefer different classes based on their major, year, and how comfortable they are with the social distancing guidelines in place.

“I really benefit from being in class,” said Valerie D’Agostino, a senior art major.

D’Agostino has access to the materials she needs for bigger projects on campus. She said the smaller class sizes make her feel safe attending in person.

Classes at Daemen transitioned to remote instruction on Monday, Nov. 16, against the original intention of keeping campus open until Thanksgiving break.

“Right now, I’m preferring hybrid classes because I don’t really like being on campus,” said Erin Gregoire, a senior social work major.

Gregoire lives off campus. She said online classes make it easier to not leave home and commute to school every day.

Erin Gregoire completing one of her online classes at home.

Most online classes are conducted by using Zoom, a video conferencing tool that allows students to speak with their classmates and professors from their own location. 

In a number of courses, this is the only way students get to connect with their professors and peers.

“Personally, I like to still be able to have those connections with students and talk one-on-one with them,” said Erica Frisicaro-Pawlowski, associate professor of English.

Frisicaro-Pawlowski said her class material and conversations have changed because of COVID-19, but her teaching strategy remains the same during this time.

She also said student and faculty preferences should be considered as much as possible while still focusing on the health guidelines in place.

“We need for our learners to feel comfortable and capable of learning in the environment we’re providing,” Frisicaro-Pawlowski said.

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