Students across the country are making the transition to an online format to finish out the school year. It may seem like a mini vacation to some but for others, their workload just got a bit harder.
Several universities and public and private schools decided to close their campuses to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
While students are preparing or going through the shift in learning environments, they’re sharing their experiences on TikTok, the popular short video social media app.
Here’s a look at what a few of their academic lives look like right now:
‘I didn’t pay all this tuition money to sit on my floor’
Syera Plitt is a freshman at the University of Southern California and a dance major at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. She’s been taking online courses for the past three days.
“Normally I’m in the studios almost all day being physically active,” she told CNN. “I alternate daily between about three hours of rehearsals on some days or improvisation and conditioning classes on other days.”
The campus officially put students on Zoom, an online video conference service.
“It has made all of my classes less active,” she said. “My classmates and I are confined to limited amounts of space (dorms, hallways, outdoors, etc.) where we can’t physically do what we normally do. We meet with our professors online for modified classes.”
Plitt is concerned this will affect her grades and performances that were scheduled for April.
“My major requires my classmates and I to congregate,” she said. “We kind of have to be together to rehearse, learn and perform with each other. If we don’t get our allotted rehearsal time we won’t be ready to perform, and there is a good chance my performances will either be canceled or postponed.”
Plitt said she feels bad for seniors whose projects are required to be finished and performed in order for them to graduate.
“Our performances are graded, our finals are active, so I’m not sure what they (the university) will do to combat that.” she said. “It’s also money wasting. This is more of a university issue, but I didn’t pay all this tuition money to sit on my floor and barely move. But at this point it’s out of our hands.”
Film students halt production
Camryn Brescia is a film student at New York University and made a TikTok of her professor giving her online class a song break in between lessons.
The song break video came out of a general education class that’s supposed to have 300 students in it, she said. And yet, her professors have made the lectures more personal and fun.
“Online classes as a film student have been quite strange,” she told CNN. “As my classes are either production related or large discussions about film we’ve watched together, it’s pretty difficult to do over what is essentially a giant FaceTime.”
Brescia, a commuter student, said her classes at NYU switched to an online format Wednesday. She said her production class is posing a challenge.
“It’s extremely hard to get the full experience since the class is extremely hands-on,” she said. “We’re set to make a few short films for the class before the semester ends and NYU has halted all production of that till further notice so it’s been rather disappointing for the film kids.”
Preparing to go online-only
Trevor Patchen, a high school senior in Warren, Ohio, told CNN students were sent an online survey assessing the connectivity of each household on March 11.
Patchen said online classes will start Tuesday.
“Friday was the first day off of school since the governor instituted the three-week close yesterday,” he said. “What it looks like we’re doing is having online assignments through Google Classroom and Renweb. We’re also using Remind to set up notifications about work.”
If students or families don’t have reliable access to the tools they need to complete assignments, Patchen said the school notice stated arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis.
Will there be more cheating on exams?
Tia Stamp-Querry, an engineering freshman at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, posted a video on TikTok about the struggle of remembering all the math lessons she learned in class.
“It’s going to be hard for some like in math,” Stamp-Querry told CNN. “Getting questions answered is going to be hard.”
Stamp-Querry has four classes on her plate. She said professors told her all of the exams and quizzes will be online now, with some professors posting video lessons and others wanting to try a FaceTime-like platform.
“I’m sure the professors aren’t happy with the amount of cheating that’s going to go on with online exams and quizzes,” she said. “We aren’t starting until March 26 because many professors weren’t fully prepared for this.”
Though she hasn’t officially transitioned she said some of her classes already give out online homework. The only difference now will be that exams will be given online, too.
Stamp-Querry said it’s stressful and she knows her peers are upset about not seeing their friends, but she’s a bit relieved.
“I was in the middle of a project that was killing me and now it’s canceled,” she said. “I can relax and I already do most of my assignments online so it won’t be much of a change. The only real change will be the lectures and the exams online.”