Students at Drake University are preparing for another semester of both in-person and online courses amid the ongoing pandemic, a situation which has influenced some students’ choice of classes for the spring semester.
Ellen Everhart, a sophomore pre-occupational therapy major, had a mix of in-person and online classes in the fall. However, Everhart said COVID did not affect her choices for classes in the spring because she still is focused on graduating on time and is in a program with a stricter timetable than other students.
“A lot of my classes are being taught online so COVID has impacted the classes themselves but not my decision to take them or not,” Everhart said.
Julia Dambekaln, a sophomore English and public relations major, said she sought out in-person classes for the spring semester after a lackluster semester of all online classes. Dambekaln opted to be fully online for the fall semester, but will not be in the spring.
“The only reason I’m taking (this) class at the specific time I’m taking it is that it’s in person,” Dambekaln said.
Dambekaln said being fully online made her feel isolated and affected her work ethic.
“I think I learn much better in a classroom setting than in my room with the door shut where I can go on my phone literally the whole time and not pay attention,” Dambekaln said.
Everhart said she prefers in-person classes but is appreciative of the way her professors have treated their students.
“My professors are doing well and being understanding because it’s a tricky time for all,” Everhart said.
Although Everhart believes her professors are understanding, she thinks they are also assigning more work.
“Some classes I find that they’re like a much bigger time commitment than they were, and they would be if it were in person,” Everhart said.
Dambekaln agreed that she is putting more time into her classes this semester, her French class most of all. She said the subject is adding much more stress to her workload this year.
Everhart said online classes present unique challenges different from in-person classes, which could influence which classes students choose to take in the spring.
“I think we’re just more used to in-person classes and what those need from us, unlike online classes,” Everhart said.