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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Opinion: Is an online fall semester worth it?

COVID-19 has pushed the vast majority of Fullerton College’s 2020 school year to be exclusively remote. With in-person classes no longer being provided on campus, what does this mean for students?

The move to online courses has created a lot of unknowns that have yet to be answered. What classes still have a chance of being in-person? Can some classes be a hybrid of the two?

The uncertainty of the upcoming semester has some students planning to take considerably less amount of classes, or not participate in the semester at all.

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“I’m guessing Corona is still gonna be here ‘till fall, so I don’t want to keep doing online classes. And I can also use that time to get a job and save money for my transfer/future school,” said Horticulture major Joey Harris, after being asked why he was only taking one class in the fall.

Students who normally would take classes exclusively through lectures may have trouble transitioning to an entirely online format. Without face-to-face instruction, students have an easier time being distracted during an online lecture, rather than being in a classroom with other people.

“Not being able to go to class definitely did hinder my drive to go to school and continue doing it. It wasn’t the main force, but it definitely did help a lot since I’m not at home more often. And I just feel like not wanting to go back to school,” said Computer Science major Jordan Weissman.

When transitioning, students spend a lot less time in contact with their professors, changing what could’ve been a lecture-heavy course into a course that is predominantly hindered by the amount of reading a student does.

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Some students just don’t perform as well from exclusively reading. Having the in-class discussions and explanations is a necessity for some to get a grip on the information they’ve been assigned.

“You know, there are a lot of people who don’t perform as well on like an online setting where they have to have one-on-one instruction,” said Commercial Music major Brian Kim. “So, I know some of my friends are considering even dropping certain classes. Even asking for a refund straight up because they’re not getting the educational quality they signed up for.”

Classes that are required for some majors also just do not function in an online setting. For the music department specifically, some classes are extremely hard to transition into an online setting. Especially courses where students are learning an instrument, and latency and sound quality make learning very difficult.

“Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts, we tried everything but it just sounds like garbage. So it’s hard for professors to give you feedback. And it’s almost impossible to play with your peers and coach as well,” continued Kim.

An online Fall semester, fundamentally, is less worth students’ time than a semester that offers in-person teaching.

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