On Monday Nov. 23, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) transitioned to online learning for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. This scheduled transition was to stop of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) since faculty, staff, and students were going home and traveling for the holiday break. Before the transition, students were taking a combination of online, hybrid (online and in-person) and in-person courses. While students are accustomed to online and Zoom learning and the news of heading to remote learning was accepted and understood by students, many agreed that it is not their preferred method of education.
The term “remote learning” is met with mixed emotions and varying experiences. Students agreed that remote learning makes them feel nervous, overwhelmed, stressed and that overall, it is difficult transition.
UNH sophomore Morgan Bowles said, “I find it much easier to get distracted in my own home because I don’t normally associate it with doing schoolwork. I just want to relax at home, which makes it difficult to stay motivated and on top of my workload.”
Senior Nelson Davis said, “I would think that coming to the end of my college career, that my motivations would be a lot higher and that my aspirations would really drive me to excel in school, but it just hasn’t been there. I contemplate all the time why my motivation isn’t there, but it really comes down to the lack of schedule in my day.”
Many UNH students agree that online learning offers many distractions, that it is unmotivating, and can take away from the structure of “going to school” and keeping to a schedule; however, Cassie Eppler, a sophomore, disagrees.
“Honestly, I don’t personally think remote learning is as horrible as a lot of other people I know think,” Eppler said. “While I did enjoy my in-person classes last year, with COVID-19 happening, I feel safer online.”
Students who agree with Eppler feel a sense of security and peace taking classes online due to the pandemic. While classes may not be easier, the safety of working from home and the limited exposure is one benefit of online learning.
“Some advice I have on school during a pandemic is, if you don’t feel like it is working for you, don’t rush it,” UNH senior Joe Heimberg said. “College isn’t going anywhere.”
The goal is not to let students struggle on their own and all UNH resources are available in some virtual capacity. The Center for Academic Resources (CFAR) is readily available to help students with this transition and they want to help all Wildcats succeed.
“CFAR is actively providing individualized services in addition to all of the resources students can find on our website,” said Daniela (Dani) Adler, the director of CFAR. “Educational Counselors are available through our Chat Now button on the website and can set up zoom meetings with students to discuss their academic concerns. CFAR peer academic mentors meet up to twice a week with students to focus on time management, study strategies, and finals preparation. Students can create an account at unh.wconline.com and select the CFAR calendar. The CFAR website is full of study tips and tools.”
Students are hopeful that they will be back on campus in the spring with the university’s rigorous testing program and by following CDC recommendations.
“I really hope that by next semester we are welcomed back on campus because I will have better internet and access to my classes,” said sophomore Paige Ricci. “I predict that if we are on campus next semester that it will probably be the same as this semester, meaning Covid testing, wearing masks, and social distancing.”
Photo Courtesy of Danielle Forte: Hamilton Smith Hall