Higher education has been forced to move the majority of classes to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
America is coming up on month eight of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, which still is actively affecting colleges across the country as well as students and scholars. After having to conform to the new norm of the virus by closing campus and moving classes online, many students feel overwhelmed and distressed with their ability to learn.
“I have always been one of those students that has to be in a classroom to learn,” said UWG senior Caroline Day. “Not being able to sit in front of my professors in person during class has really impacted my motivation and grades.”
Back in March of 2020, UWG’s spring break was extended due to the virus. What seemed to be just an extra week of vacation turned into something much more drastic. Students were quickly sent home for the remainder of the semester, not knowing if this pandemic would still affect their Fall 2020 semester.
“I never thought I would miss going to my in-person classes,” said Day. “Virtual learning has become our default. This is definitely not what I expected for my senior year.”
When it comes to children in elementary and middle schools, the pandemic has affected them at large as well. College students that are chasing a degree in education must conform to teaching children during a pandemic.
“Something that I never thought I would have to ask my students to do is stop playing with their mask,” said UWG senior and student teacher, Cailyn Kelly. “It is really hard to keep the kids involved when they are in the classroom all day, including during their lunch.” Because of classrooms going virtual, colleges and universities have also been affected negatively in the realm of finances as well. After having to lower tuition cost because of the lack of in-person classes, many universities are having to lay off faculty. The lack of a normal in-class learning environment has caused many institutions to notice a decrease in admission numbers, as well. UWG along with many other schools in the state have removed the requirement of SAT and ACT testing from admissions requirements because of the lack of ability to take the test due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic’s shutdown, UWG was already struggling with the decline in admissions. Now many colleges are having to find creative ways to combat the effects of COVID-19.