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A year in, students find silver lining to online learning

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Anabel Martinez
Staff Writer

It has been almost a year since the University of La Verne made the switch to all online – with most colleges and universities across the nation, when the COVID-19 pandemic sent us into lockdown.

Amid the reasonable concerns and complaints, and mourning for the lost college experience, some students are noticing aspects of online learning they like.

Some said they appreciate their convenience of not having to leave the comforts of home and say they’re better rested and have more time to themselves.

Sydne Ruiz, freshman biology major, said she enjoys the conveniences of the online format.

“(Because) it’s as easy as turning on my computer and I’m in class,” Ruiz said.

Rebecca Lee, freshman psychology major, said she likes not having to worry about walking across the campus. She lives on campus this semester and said she likes having the ability to tune in to class from the comfort of her dorm room.

Some students report their lives now are more balanced.

“With work and classes being scheduled online, I feel like I have more time to myself to indulge in my hobbies or simply take a break and rest,” said Juan Sanchez, junior criminology major.

Sanchez said that although the change to virtual learning was not something he anticipated, it came at the right time for him.

Benjamin Sussman, sophomore criminology major, said he appreciates that the switch has pushed professors to use Blackboard, the University’s online teaching platform. It makes documents like the class syllabi and assignments accessible from anywhere, Sussman said.

Some students said that they appreciate the increased use of technology remote learning has required because it brings different approaches and in some cases makes learning more comprehensive and accessible.

“Most professors are recording their lectures,” said Natalie Garcia, junior sociology major. “That’s a great benefit because you can go back and watch (the class) more than once.”

Garcia recalled being able to plan ahead for applying to master’s programs with the use of available virtual resources, including the Office of First Generation and Peer Mentoring.

Janice Deguerio, senior psychology major, said she has been able to embrace opportunities that would not have been possible if she was still living on campus.

“I’m helping a family friend with tutoring because now I live a block away and my schedule allows for it because everything is online,” Deguerio said.

Alexzandra Jimenez, senior chemistry major, said the Chemistry Club has been more active after the transition to online learning, creating a support system for peers to join a Zoom call, study and socialize.

“It’s still home. We still talk to each other and interact,” Jimenez said. “We understand the frustrations that we’re going through but it’s also like we’re (a) safe place again.”

Students like Jesus Espinoza, senior legal studies major, have found ways to use technology to increase their ability to pay attention.

Espinoza said all of his required research and reading is accessed digitally. Being able to “split the screen” with his professor on one side and current case study on the other makes it easier to focus on the material.

For Alana Olvera, freshman biology major, the best part about online learning is having the flexibility to work on her own time.

Mackay MorganArmstrong, sophomore kinesiology major, said she is happy that she had to move back home and attend classes virtually, because she has gotten to strengthen her relationship with her family.

“I was able to watch my 2-year-old brother take his first steps, which I wouldn’t have gotten to see if I hadn’t been at home,” MorganArmstrong said. “It’s little things like that that have been nice.”

Anabel Martinez can be reached at anabel.martinez2@laverne.edu.

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