Empty classoom

Empty classrooms like this one will remain empty through the fall of the semester at Illinois State University as most classes switch to be an all-online format.

Illinois State University students remained hopeful that the fall semester would contain some normalcy. But after the announcement in ISU President Larry Dietz’s fall semester update, more classes are moving online for the semester.  

For many students, the sudden decision to move most or all classes online is frustrating for the learning and experiences they are going to miss. Compared to in-person classes, online classes don't offer the same experience, students say.

“I’m honestly nervous about classes being moved online. I feel like a lot of my professors last semester just dropped off after everything went online and left me to do everything on my own so that makes me scared to see what it’s going to be like this semester. I just wish I knew what to expect. Especially with clinicals because I feel like no one knows what it’s going to be like online. Plus I feel like I just learn better in person because I’m a very visual and hands-on learner so it’s really hard for me to learn online,” Elizabeth Seabeth, senior early childhood education major, said. 

“I understand why my classes are online, however when they are in person, I love getting to know my professors and work with other students. Being on Zoom is just not the same! But I am grateful I am still able to see everyone even if it is still through a screen. I was supposed to be in a classroom for clinicals two days a week and that got moved online,” junior elementary education major Chloe Halverson said. “As of right now, I will still be meeting with small groups of students online with some other homework too. Although I still get to meet with students, it still won’t be the same. Classes can only teach you so much and being in the field is where you really learn and grow, so I am disappointed I’m missing out on that learning opportunity. So overall I’m disappointed that everything is online, but I am happy I still get to be back on campus!” 

Even with the upsetting news of more classes being moved online, students were understanding that it was a wise yet tough decision to make. 

“I think it was 100% the right choice to move classes online. Although, I do feel like they should have made the decision earlier. It seemed like a no-brainer to move classes online. When you have 20,000 students coming back to such a small area, outbreaks are bound to happen; especially when people are making irresponsible choices. Social distancing and wearing a mask only do so much. I’ve had to learn that the hard way this summer with a lot of people I know being affected, even when irresponsible decisions aren’t made,” said Emily Miles, senior recreation management major. “It sucks that this is how my senior year will be, but it is what it is at this point. It’s time for everyone to be responsible and take this virus seriously. Wear the damn mask and stay safe!”

The main problem students are dealing with classes online is the not getting the learning and education experience that is found inside the classroom with professors and peers. 

“I just think it’s horrible they are making people do everything online. Some people learn better in person like I do. I actually have a learning disability and with everything online it’s going to make it harder for students like me to actually learn the information. I think they should do things in person and give people the option for online classes. The way ISU handled reopening plans made me want to not go to ISU. I’m a transfer from a community college and ISU isn’t looking good to me because of how they handled reopening,” said Gregory Olhava sophomore cybersecurity major. 

"I'm very disappointed that ISU is moving classes online. While I understand that there are precautions they must take, I'm also not confident that I will get the same content, learning opportunities, and experiences that I would receive from an in-person class,” senior sociology major Megan Slagel said. “This is very overwhelming and frustrating for me, especially heading into my final year at ISU. I'm unsure of how this semester will impact my experiences and future career opportunities and struggle to look forward to the chaos and stress I know this semester could bring.”

GRACE KINNICUTT is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at gkinnic@ilstu.edu Follow her on Twitter at @GKinnicutt 

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