How MRU students are adjusting to university life at home during COVID-19 pandemic
By Daniel Gonzalez, Staff Writer
With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Calgary, all classes at MRU have switched to online deliveries where students are wrapping up their semesters from home. Despite the seeming ease of learning from home, there are some who believe this is causing more problems rather than solutions.
On March 15, MRU formally announced that all classes would be switching to online delivery. In wake of this announcement, many students are discussing the effectiveness of online lectures.
Josh Vetter, a first year student in an undeclared bachelor of arts, thinks that the online transition has been affecting his learning and work ethic in a negative way.
With four courses that all take place online, Vetter is having a hard time adjusting to learning off campus.
“I’m really unmotivated to do any of it. I don’t know how the exams are going to work online,” says Vetter.
Although Vetter feels uncertain about taking classes online, he believes that the faculty at Mount Royal are doing their best to “try and keep classes going.”
“MRU is doing a really good job, but it’s difficult to go from regular classes to online classes in the middle of the semester like this,” says Vetter. “They did the best they could. They didn’t really have enough time and some teachers did a lot better than others.”
One measure that Vetter agrees with is the addition of the pass/fail credit system the university announced on March 26.
“I think with the pass/fail credit system, at least people have the flexibility to choose. If they are being impacted really badly by COVID-19, at least their GPA won’t suffer from it.”
Another student, Christopher Fang, is in his third year of sociology. All four of his classes are online and he does not agree with online class delivery.
“I don’t like it all,” says Fang. “I would rather be in school actually learning something rather than at home doing my school work.”
Like Vetter and many other students, Fang believes that it is difficult to learn from home because “there’s too many distractions.”
One way Fang has overcome this problem is by working on assignments on campus, although a majority of the services are limited or closed.
“I go there for maybe like two to three hours. I just do my work and I leave.” says Fang. “It’s a better place to focus.”
While he can no longer learn in a classroom, Fang thinks that all of his professors are doing their best to ensure that students finish their classes this semester.
A major aspect Fang believes the school should consider is the delivery of final exams in classes.
“I feel like final exams should be optional,” says Fang. “Profs should work in a way that just gets rid of exams and transfers marks into stuff you’re already doing.”
Vetter and Fang continue to attend their online lectures and work on their assignments from home or on campus. Mount Royal has not announced the cancellation of classes and has notified students about supplementing final grades with the new pass/fail credit system.
“Everyone signed up to be in a lecture is in a class right?” says Fang. “That’s what everyone expected, but now we’re doing online [classes], which is not as good.”