Classes at N.C. Central University has been different this semester for both students and professors with most of the courses being taught online.
Students were given the option to stay home if all of their classes were online or return to campus if some of their classes were a hybrid class, in which instruction is a mixture of in-person and online.
There have been both positive and negative reactions on moving to online instruction this semester.
“School started August 24 and here it is mid-way September and I have not learned anything so far,” NCCU sophomore Halle Berry said.
“I am just working to meet each deadline as the semester is somewhat a horrific rush.”
The academic calendar of 2020-2021 was condensed into a shorter time frame. This year at NCCU, fall break has been canceled and classes for the Fall semester will end Nov. 24.
Students now have Saturday classes because of the Fall semester started at the end of August instead of the first week of the month. Instead of having in-person or online classes on Saturday, assignments and lectures are posted on the online learning software, Blackboard for students to complete.
Some students have complained about having Saturday classes since weekends are generally the time for them to unwind from the week, catch up on homework, or work at their part-time job to make a living.
“Weekends are money-making days for a lot of students, and professors should take this into consideration, especially for students that have no support,” said by NCCU criminal justice student Sherray Parker.
Not only have the students encountered difficulties with online instruction, but faculty have too. Transitioning to an online platform for classes has not been the easiest task.
“Online instruction is tremendously different than in-person instruction,” said NCCU sophomore Antonette Mclyntre.
“Being in a physical class setting comforts me more than tuning in to a computer screen daily.”
Distanced learning is becoming the new normal for all schools in the University of North Carolina System.
NCCU professor Shawn Sendlinger, who works in the chemistry and biochemistry department was able to share his experience by email with teaching students this semester and how he has adapted to the new normal.
“A hard part is judging how effective lectures are. Face to face you can usually see if students are understanding/not understanding, and it is easier for me to ask if it’s making sense, and for students to ask questions if there is something not understood.”
Mr. Sendlinger added that this semester has been a drastic change. However, he said that he is doing his best and going above and beyond to make sure his “students feel comfortable enough to continue online instruction as orderly as possible.”