After a year of Zoom University, the University of Auckland has returned mainly to in-person classes. However, some students have noticed that less of their peers are showing up to in-person classes, after getting used to the flexibility of online learning.
With universities around the world moving online due to COVID-19, the future of tertiary education may no longer require in-person teaching. Although for staff, teaching is not as simple as putting a lecture online. With benefits for both in-person and online learning, UoA students share their learning style preferences.
Odette, Bachelors of Fine Arts
For me, in-person learning is incredibly valuable and cannot be substituted by online learning. Fine Arts is a very hands-on degree, and you learn by live discussion and practical lessons, so we were greatly affected by transitioning to online learning. It’s a social subject that requires active input and criticism from your peers/tutors, so trying to achieve this on Zoom calls just was not possible and completely changed the dynamic of learning in Fine Arts. I have endless respect for the tutors who did their best to change the course to suit the restraints of online learning when we went into lockdown. However, the unfortunate alteration meant that many first-year students of 2020 missed out on experiencing the technical workshops provided by Elam Art school. On the other hand, online learning has been helpful lately for me as I recently injured myself and cannot physically attend class. The fact the University has now been urged to rethink their modes of teaching means that students with factors preventing them from physically attending are still somewhat able to keep up with their studies. For this reason, I am grateful for the increase in online teaching, however, it could never replace the value of on-campus learning.
Vanshika, Bachelors of Optometry
I prefer in-person learning over online classes because of their interactive nature, which is super important in a clinical programme. I also find that actually having to go to class helps keep me motivated and gives me a routine, and as a bonus, you get to catch up with friends! I think that while online learning is useful, in-person learning creates a better environment so they’re definitely necessary, especially when it comes to labs and presentations because these are certain skills you can’t learn over Zoom.
Prina, Bachelors of Law and Commerce
I definitely prefer in-person learning! I get to interact with professors and like-minded students, as well as having the perfect atmosphere for studying. It’s quite easy to get distracted with online learning as there’s always something “fun” to do. I think in-person lectures are just as important, especially for students that don’t have the perfect life at home and use University as an escape or a better place to be. Although it is great to have lectures recorded if I’m sick or there’s an emergency as to why I can’t come to uni. It’s so helpful to be able to just watch and learn without feeling the pressure of failing or falling behind.
Meet, Bachelors of Science
For my degree in Computer Science and Information Systems there isn’t a strict need to attend in person, since everything can be done online for the most part. But if there was an option I’d go in and attend. This provides a concentrated study environment with no distractions and the benefit of external shared knowledge outside of the lecture content from your fellow classmates!