Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have had to attend classes remotely because they are attending classes from home, professors feel more comfortable holding remote classes, or because there are days when students are not feeling well. Due to this, during the air quality crisis due to the wildfires, classes were easily able to become fully remote. Without online learning already being in practice, it would have been very difficult for Willamette to smoothly transition to virtual classes during this time. Willamette’s acquaintance with online learning allowed smooth transition to remote learning and back to in-person learning again. Thus, the option for students to attend classes remotely, per prior notice to the professor, should exist in future semesters once fully in-person classes return following COVID-19.
Prior to 2020, taking classes online was not a popular method of learning. However, due to COVID-19, colleges everywhere have seen services such as Zoom rise to prominence. Remote classes during COVID-19 help students who are staying home, feeling unwell, or in quarantine. Students falling ill is unfortunately all too common during the school year, and in such times attending classes remotely is an ideal situation for students to ensure they and everyone around them is safe. Remote classes can help those who feel sick by preventing them from getting sicker and protecting the people around them from exposure. Additionally, they benefit the safety of students and faculty during the pandemic. While focusing on class via Zoom may not be the easiest to do, remote learning offers long term benefits that WU could utilize. Remote classes would not become the norm, but an option present at the individual level for students to use if need be.
Some days are more stressful than others. Some days students wake up more tired than others, more anxious, and feeling less energetic to get out and go to class. Some days students may be dealing with family or other matters that draw their attention away from school. However, it is still imperative that students attend classes and keep up with their material to ensure academic success. Due to this, the option to attend classes remotely should still stand following the pandemic. Students agree with this notion as well. Tara Tosheff ‘24 said that she believes remote learning “provides accessibility and resources for students” and in a post pandemic world she sees the need for others to use it. Ultimately, the option for remote learning provides benefits to students that should be accessible in the post pandemic world.