Is The New College Classroom Online?


Photo by: Hailey Tesser

Lindsey Smith, Arts & Entertainment Editor

   After the online class experience in 2020, colleges around Florida are starting to offer more virtual classes. Whether it be out of convenience for class sizes, or if the schools experienced positive results after a year all online, colleges seem more open to offering more online than in-person classes. But how does this affect the new college students?

   In lieu of in-person classes, colleges have a wide variety of classes on virtual platforms. Although the majority of schools had options between online and in-person classes before the pandemic hit, some reports are stating that online classes seem to dominate the list of class choices. For students that prefer in-person learning, this can have a significant impact. Senior Armando Rodriguez, for example, prefers a physical classroom to a remote classroom, stating, “Socializing gives me energy with people so online was really hard to stay motivated.” Fortunately, Armando was able to secure in-person classes for his fall semester, but his summer semester will differ. “For the summer I will take one or two classes but in the fall semester I will take all of my classes in person.” Armando explained that he had an easier time finding classes online for the summer term, but that may be due to smaller class sizes. “During the summer term I found that there were more options for online classes, which is probably since there are less people…” 

   In regards to the topic of mental health, online classes have created a large debacle over whether it is worse for an individual’s mental health or not. Armando expressed feelings that are all too common for many when under virtual learning conditions: unmotivation. For 2020 PPCHS graduate, and current attendee of University of South Florida (USF), Jan Smith, online learning is less than ideal. After experiencing part of high school and a full year of college virtually, Jan explained how much more difficult it is to focus online as opposed to in-person. Jan also explained that he currently has more classes online but it has been an adjustment learning how to find the right balance that works best for him.

   For other students like senior Andres Alvarez, learning online or in-person does not make as much of a difference when it comes to certain types of classes. “If my college classes are just the basic classes that are similar to ones I have taken in high school, I would prefer online because it would give me a little more freedom. However, if it’s a major-specific class that introduces new concepts, I think I would prefer in-person in order to ensure that I take the time to focus and learn.” Andres also explained that online learning is difficult for its many distractions. In alliance with Jan’s statements, Andres also feels that online classes are harder to concentrate on. 

   Depending on the student’s comfort level, perhaps online learning is a better option. However, for those that prefer in-person learning, never fret, the physical classroom is not out of fashion yet.