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By Jacob Bila
As students return from Thanksgiving break, so does another full transition from on-campus to online learning. It will be the second time students will have to do so since COVID-19 first forced schools to switch to online back in March. Since the fall semester began, students have gotten used to the mix of online and on-campus methods being taught to continue learning during the pandemic, with many precautions being taken.
Several Five Towns College students talked about how they feel about the upcoming transition, with most preferring on-campus learning. “Online classes have been pretty tough to maintain since it kind of doesn’t have the same effect as going into a classroom and learning with your peers,” said FTC Mass Communications student Natalie Allouche. “I 100% prefer on-campus classes. I feel like it is so much easier to focus when your professor is right in front of you, and there is not really much room for distraction.”
Students feel that it’s a more immersive experience to learn in an actual classroom than online, and the transition will make this harder for classes requiring hands-on experience. For students studying film and audio, this will be especially tough considering how often they use their school’s equipment for their classes.
“Going to Five Towns College, it’s a very hands-on school. That’s why when you come to this school. You have all the equipment you can use, especially for me being a film major,” said film student Nick Pearl. “If I’m online, I have to use my phone, but if I’m here, I get to learn how to use one of the professional cameras.” When talking about how upcoming projects may be affected by the transition, Pearl said he’s not worried but knows it will be a tougher process.
Some students feel more prepared to transition to online now compared to back in March, which was a sudden and unexpected shift. But many still agree the learning experience is not the same.
“I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from so many great professors and students, and they have been willing to help me develop my skills for a career and future in mass communications. To be able to do that face-to-face is something that I love and enjoy doing,” said FTC student and reporter Sean Lanigan. “I love being at Five Towns College, and working with the professors and the students face-to-face is still something I prefer. I still think that’s the best way to learn.”