The college way

As all grade levels are getting school work done over online courses, college students are getting ready to finish the last semester of this year as well.

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Cameron Schmidt

College schedule. As a college student, this is what an everyday schedule may look like, as some colleges send out the schedule monthly to give an idea on upcoming work. Students often get more projects and exams then actual homework. "The professors don’t give out assignments. They give out more big projects. For me, it’s just a lot of testing and studying the material." University of Mary student Kiaya Schwab said.

Cameron Schmidt, Business Manager

As COVID-19 is taking over the world, online school is becoming more and more common. All kids are expected to complete and do their school work, but college students also need to finish the semester online. Professors are learning how to make online school convenient for their students. 

Over the years of Sitting Bull College professor Therese Comeau’s career, she has never experienced something like this before. Comeau has been teaching for a very long time and works hard at her job. The new way of classes has been weird for her with how small both the community and the classes can get at the college.

“I like to work [at Sitting Bull College] because it’s a small community college and smaller classes,” Comeau said. “ I’ve been teaching there since 1997 – for 23 years.”

It can also be hard on the college students as they have to adapt to the changes they are not used to. They have grown up learning from face to face teaching to randomly having to learn through a computer screen. University of Mary student Kiaya Schwab has been in college for almost three years, and though the change is different, it is getting easier for her. 

“It’s harder to teach yourself, because the teachers have a better way of telling you and teaching it then you do to yourself,” Schwab said. “But it also depends on the teacher, and the subject you are learning.”

One of the hardest parts of missing out on in-person teaching is the relationships and bonds normally found in the classroom. When students are used to it being an everyday occurance, it can seem strange to not have it. 

“I like to have a connection with them in person . I like helping people and directing them,” Comeau said. “It´s different over Zoom and email [when] not having the personal connections with them.”

With the lessons and lectures missed out on during a face-to-face class, learning online can be more challenging for some students. 

“There is more room for error – from both sides – teaching and learning wise. If you are learning face-to-face and you did not get all the information, it’s so easy to ask someone next to you or the professor. Where you cannot do that online, you are just on your own.” Schwab says. 

Not only is online school difficult for some students to learn all the material, it can be hard on the teachers too, having to prepare everything and try to get things right for their students to learn the proper way. 

“It’s difficult because students could do their work at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. and I’m constantly getting emails for students asking multiple questions,” Comeau says. “Even some of the same questions [may be asked], which is hard because in class, one student might ask a question and two other students [might ask the same question] too, so the question was only answered once [when face-to-face] instead of emailing the three students back the same thing.”

Students are learning to adapt and learn from this new teaching style. All students have different ways of doing this, based on the classes and courses they chose to take.  

“A lot of my teachers have had Zoom meetings, and they do lectures,” Schwab said. “It’s more of your own work that you have to do. It’s harder because no one is reminding you to do your work.”

Even though the change can be hard on students, schools are making and adjusting to students’ needs. Learning online means students need the internet and a source to do the homework. Many students may not have the best resources to finish their online studies, but there are still ways for these students to adapt.

“I think some [students] do really well online and to work from home, and some struggle to finish work, and even some students don’t have internet since it’s a rural community. The college has had to pay internet providers to install wifi into some students homes, so they can successfully get their work done.” Comeau said.