From Zoom to the Classroom: College in the COVID age

Students say they appreciate the classroom setting

Jess Staley, Features Editor

The surge of COVID has disrupted many facets of our lives over the last 2 years. One major way being our mode of education. For the spring 2022 semester, HACC has issued an approach to ensure the safety of students and staff. The college has a six- phase plan for safety, facilities, and cleaning protocols.

In phase 4, the phase for spring and summer semesters, the college is fully open, although many courses are offered in a variety of remote ways. Students, employees, and visitors are required to wear face coverings, even if fully vaccinated, on campuses. Personal Protection Equipment stations are in hallways and common areas with masks and hand sanitizer to encourage safety in buildings. Classrooms, offices, and common areas are also disinfected and deep cleaned, per Governor Tom Wolf’s orders and the Centers for Disease Control recommendations. 

Angela Foutz

At the root of all of this, is the students and staff. Many changes and adjustments have been made that impact the way we learn, teach, and engage with others. Now that many of us are fully back on campus for classes, we are seeing the differences in Zoom learning rather than in person. One common feeling among students is positive for the traditional way of learning.

“Being at home while trying to focus on school is hard, a lot of distractions. Being online made my grades worse as well,” said one  student who has experience the impacts firsthand.”

In-person instruction does involve some drawbacks, as well: students are not able to be flexible with their time, which Zoom- instructed classes are designed to allow.

“ You can go on vacation and still attend class. So I felt like I could do more,” she said.

Professors say they are are grateful for the pivot back to in-person instruction as well: teaching is finally back to the original classroom structures. Professor Keila Lee has been teaching at HACC for 14 years. Although she says she likes both in-person and Zoom teaching, over time she saw the negative effects of Zoom instruction.

Angela Foutz

“I need to be in person because I’m too social, I like to relate to my students,” Lee said.

And, Lee says, it was draining over time.

“I was tired of Zoom. With students not turning on their cameras, you feel like you’re by yourself,” she said. “I couldn’t actually see people.” 

For more information on HACC’s COVID safety and protocols, visit Stay up to date on the Coronavirus