‘I am not learning whatsoever’: JSU students express dissatisfaction with online learning

JSU students, faculty and staff implement the university's reopeneing plan with social distancing and mask wearing measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashleigh Crouch, Correspondent

Over the summer, Jacksonville State University made the decision for all courses to either transition to hybrid courses — partially online and partially in-person — or 100% online courses due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

This means that this fall, there are no classes being offered at JSU that meet in-person 100% of the time.

Professors and instructors at JSU paint a rosy picture of the online and hybrid learning experience, with one saying that all of her students are “engaged and ready to work.” However, many JSU students — both in interviews and social media posts — say that their online courses haven’t been conducive to a productive learning environment.

“I am not learning whatsoever,” said Allison Martin, a JSU junior majoring in marketing. “I feel like since I don’t have the routine of a lecture I don’t retain anything. It seems like my professors are just giving us assignments to give us assignments and it does nothing for me.”

Martin is taking five fully-online courses this semester and said that she wishes professors “were putting in as much effort as they expect from me.”

Kiley-may Glenn, a first-time JSU freshman majoring in early childhood education, expressed concerns about online learning.

“I think a lot of people forget that our freshman class graduated high school during the height of everything,” said Glenn. “We’ve been taking online classes since March, and with our teachers not being prepared to teach us online then, we missed out on the things we would’ve learned those last few months of senior year.” 

Glenn also expressed that she does not feel like she is learning at all in her classes, of which two are 100% online and three are hybrid.

“We are given so much work in these online classes that it just feels like I’m rushing to meet all of the deadlines for assignments,” she said. “I don’t have the time or energy to absorb anything before the next assignment is due.” 

Camryn McGraw, a JSU sophomore majoring in nursing, thinks that classes related to your major and/or upper-level classes should not be online at all, and only hybrid if “critically necessary.” McGraw said that upper-level classes are more difficult and require more hands-on learning that is difficult to replicate in an online environment.

“Typically basic classes aren’t as hard or as important to your future career as upper level courses, so I find it more acceptable for them to be online,” said McGraw.

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