A new year and another non-ideal semester at Hawk Hill. Unlike the first semester this school year, we have a bigger understanding of what being on campus entails. Along with the choices to either be online and home or on campus and in person, we can also be on campus and take some of both types of classes. Additionally, there are hybrid classes where you are in person some days and online the others. This is what eventually happened this semester, but at least now we know ahead of time and can plan accordingly to your preference. When asked what type of classes they prefer, 87% of students said in person while only 13% preferred to be online. With that being said here are which classes you should try to avoid taking online.

Foreign Language

One area where the online classroom lacks to provide a sufficient learning environment is in participation. It’s hard to see who has their hand up which can lead to everyone assuming that someone is going to answer the question when in reality, no one is. Additionally, there are plenty of what I like to call “virtual shouting out”, when two people unmute themselves at the same time and it becomes an awkward phone conversation where each person tries to let the other person talk. Lastly, people often don’t have their cameras on which makes it even harder to have a conversation and communicate. This is not a good recipe for a class where most of the time, class participation is a big part of the grade. It also makes it very hard to learn because in language classes you learn best by practicing and rehearsing the words and grammar.

English

Similar to foreign language, English relies heavily on participation. Whether it’s presenting a project, reading a paper out loud, or workshop assignments, communication is key. Additionally, English is traditionally a class that you don’t need to bring your computer to so when you do have it, it can likely become a distraction since you aren’t doing anything else in class. 

Math

Doing math homework and tests virtually are the WORST! First, you have to show your work which becomes annoying due to having to copy it back into the program (canvas, etc.) off of the paper you did it on. It is just a big waste of time in my opinion. Second, there are often formatting errors when you submit your answers. You could spend 20 minutes trying to figure out the problem and get the right answer, but since you accidentally hit the comma button twice you get it wrong. Third, you get no partial credit in some classes. Normally if you forget to put the units or give a fraction when you’re supposed to give a decimal, the teacher will give you partial credit, the same is true for showing your work. However, with there being no system to reward students for being on the right path it makes the work all the more exhausting.

Well there you have it! My guide to not letting COVID-19 and its restrictions affect your GPA. In times like these, you have to make do with what you got because nothing is guaranteed. If the school’s guidelines end up changing to going all online don’t panic, teachers and the administration are aware of how hard of a learning environment we are in and are here to help us. At the end of the day, this is hopefully not forever.