By Arianna Schuck
As of March 23, Florida Tech has canceled face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the semester because of COVID-19, causing many students to adjust to online platform learning methods.
“I was sad because I wanted to continue going to class,” said Rosalia Antinarelli, a freshman majoring in forensic psychology. “However once I noticed every other school closing I realized it was for the best.”
According to Antinarelli, attending online lectures are the easy part; it’s the assignments, discussion boards and reports that are starting to pile up.
“I feel as though it’s harder now without the on campus resources I’m used to,” Antinarelli said. “Although we have online tutoring it still makes things more difficult to manage.”
Another freshman that is getting accustomed to online classes is Rene Amaya-Ayala, an aerospace engineering major. Amaya-Ayala believes that the switch to online classes was necessary for students’ safety, but said it’s an unconventional style of learning.
“I’m especially struggling with my labs,” Amaya-Ayala said.
According to Amaya-Ayala, it is hard to concentrate and engage with the material online. The structure that traditional classroom lectures bring helps naturally allocate a working schedule and without it, it’s hard for Amaya-Ayala to engage in material and learn.
Other students, such as Mark Iacobino, saw the switch to online classes coming. “I was expecting to switch to online classes,” Iacobino said.
A senior majoring in civil engineering, Iacobino said that his online classes are not as bad as he thought.
“The most challenging part has been keeping up with group assignments when there are members of the group all around the world,” Iacobino said.
Upperclassmen alike to Iacobino are also having mixed feelings about the transition to online classes.
“I was worried,” said Mike Foster, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering as well as the External Vice President for the fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha.
“Online courses have cheaper registration than in person classes, so it is implied that the quality will be worse.”
According to Foster, when the decision to switch to online instruction was made, a lot of information was being sent to students through email and canvas announcements causing confusion for some. At first this made scheduling difficult, but it is now becoming manageable for Foster.
“As professors are getting used to this new platform of teaching, organization is getting better,” Foster said.
Foster stated that the tool that has been most helpful to him is the Panopto recording. According to Foster, Panopto makes it easier to see the work visually, and is the most similar method to a traditional lecture.
“The lack of active participation deters from the motivation to learn and retain information,” Foster said. “This is where living with my fraternity brothers helps greatly. Many of us are in the same classes so we can work together to stay on task.”
The transition from face-to-face instruction to online instruction has been an adjustment for many students.
On April 6, Florida Tech announced that online classes would continue throughout the summer, and face-to-face instruction would resume in the fall 2020 semester.