The George-Anne Media Group reflects on spring 2020

Olivia Craft

The spring 2020 semester will be one that we all remember. Many students had to uproot from Statesboro and move back home, all while transitioning to strictly online classes. 

In efforts to further understand students’ experience with this drastic change, we sent a Google form to all of our student media members. Overall, the responses were pretty positive. 

Andy Cole from The George-Anne said, “For what it is, for the small amount of time students and, especially, professors had to prepare, I believe we’re doing the best. Are some of my classes easier to instruct online? Yes! Are some incredibly difficult to instruct online? YES! But there’s no point in complaining and griping; it is what it is. And, we’ve only got less than a month left in our year. Finish strong!”

Noelle Walker, who works for Reflector, said, “Obviously, the optimal classroom experience is being physically in the classroom. However, all my professors are doing the best they can given the situation, and I am so grateful for that.”

Aubrey Brumblow, Reflector contributor, said, “Personally, I prefer in-person courses to online courses. I feel more engaged with the material when discussing it with other people in the same room as myself, and I didn’t realize how much the structure of my in-person class schedule helped me balance my workload until I lost that structure. Asynchronous classes are generally more accommodating for all, but I feel there is also the drawback of losing that structure and thus productivity and awareness of deadlines. You really have to manage time well and stay self-disciplined for these courses that were never intended to be online, and I don’t know if everyone has enough experience or preparation with online classes to do their best.”

Mary Montgomery from The George-Anne said, “This semester has really seemed to slow down since going online. Many of my professors have cut major assignments and replaced them with smaller daily assignments. Keeping up with my planner and setting specific goals everyday has kept me on track. Although this is a difficult transition for many students, I think it is important for students to be able to adapt. Many people are having to work from home now, and everyone is having to adapt to this new ‘normal.’”

Benjamin Barks from Studio said, “I have no issue with how things have been handled. Professors have much time to prepare and they are being very lenient about due dates and grading (at least mine are).”

While professors were encouraged to use video chats as a teaching method, a lot of classes did not do that. 

Jenna Wiley, who works for Reflector, said, “I would actually like to do online video calls for my classes because without them I don’t remember to do my assignments.”

Kayla Hill from the creative division said, “I don’t like the fact that my professor can’t explain certain topics as they’re teaching.”

Olivia Craft from Reflector said, “I miss routine. Going to the same classes every week at the same times. I don’t like the lack of communication and discussion within some of the classes now”

Tamara Tanksley from the creative division said, “Overall, there can be a lot of confusion with the directions in some of my classes. For example, my digital foundations class, my teacher usually demonstrate what the assignment should look like and helps us fix problems that we encounter. Now, we have to figure things out amongst each other. Also, my teacher don’t usually use Folio for his classes, so we had problems understanding when the due date of a project was.”

Many students said they missed their friends that they have made.

Brandon Schultz from Studio said, “I’m not a fan of online classes. They’re very impersonal and I miss being on campus with my friends.”

Some students were a little frustrated with the increased workload.

Kayla Winston-Bass, who is a Reflector contributor, said, “I like how most professors are giving us the whole week to complete the assignments. I, however, don’t like how they are adding on more work as if we all willingly chose to go home in the midst of a pandemic.”

Elijah Jackson from The George-Anne said, “I really don’t like it because of how there are now so many assignments that overlap each other and I’ve gotta do them all online now.”

Other students were happy with the fact that they were at liberty to work on their assignments when they wanted. 

Devon Williams from Reflector said, “I like having more time to get assignments done since I don’t have to be walking to and from campus now. I can work on assignments at virtually any time of the day.”

Mikah Gillespie from the PR/Marketing division said, “I like that I can set my own schedule and work at my own pace; However I don’t like the aspect of teaching difficult information to myself when my professors don’t use Zoom.”

Abby Fuller from The George-Anne said, “I feel like I’m learning much less than I do in face-to-face classes, especially in classes outside my major. I find myself doing the bare minimum to keep getting good grades on assignments and tests, but I’m not able to concentrate as much on the material.”

Some seniors were upset because they were not able to build on their portfolio during this time. 

Lawrence Algee from Studio said, “For most of my classes (which are hands on and project based) we’ve been limited heavily on what we can do which has made it hard to get the experiences I need from them. As a senior about to graduate this also means I won’t be able to show off two semesters worth of work.”

Overall, the majority of students we received feedback from seemed to transition well with few apprehensions. 

We want to hear from you! Fill out this Google form to tell us how your online experience has been and let us know how you feel about the upcoming fall 2020 semester. 

Olivia Craft, Managing Editor for Enterprise, [email protected]