By Jindi Zhang and Lylah Schmedel, Staff Writers
March 1, 2023
Reporters from The Citizen interviewed students on the Laney College campus Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 2023, on the subject of whether classes should be in-person, online or a hybrid of both.
Charlie Funes, a current Laney student who is majoring in Psychology and taking three classes said that they prefer hybrid classes because of their learning style.
“Having an instructor right in front of you visually understand the material can be very helpful,” Funes explained.
However, Funes also sees the benefits of online modules.
“Online modules can provide students with the flexibility to go at their own pace,” Funes said.
The difficulty though, Funes remarked, arises when the online assignments contain “too much reading and materials” that are “assigned but not taught”. Then students are tested on large swaths of material that was only presented online. A word of advice Funes offered to professors was to “be realistic and to make sure students have a fair chance to cover the materials that are being assigned”.
Natalia Maldonado, a current Laney student who is deciding between the medical field and early childhood development, is taking two classes this semester.
“I definitely prefer in-person classes because I’m a visual learner”, Maldonado said.
However, Maldonado emphasized the importance of supplementary materials online for increased accessibility. For Maldonado, this is because they work forty hours a week helping their mom run “La Guerrera’s Kitchen” on top of taking classes.
“It would be great, if I’m not able to make it in-person, if I could always go back to Canvas and see the lesson that has been recorded”, Maldonado commented.
Caden Chambers-Wright, who is a Political Science major and taking four classes, stated that he prefers in-person instruction opposed to other methods.
“It makes me more motivated to attend the class and complete the work,” he explained.
Caden has taken remote classes previously during the height of COVID-19 precautions.
“It was alright, but I felt unmotivated and sometimes I would just not complete the work or skip class,” he said.
Caden noted that working remotely definitely impacted his educational performance in a negative way.
Charles Buckner, a psychology major taking four classes, said he enjoys the environment that in-person instruction can provide.
“I prefer the interaction, the conflict, and navigating on the fly […] the ability for rapid adjustment,” Buckner explained.
Emmet Jenkins, who has an undeclared major and is taking art-focused classes this semester, replied that he definitely prefers in-class instruction.
“I feel like I’m just more motivated to do it for sure. I tried to do a couple classes, not here, at a different college when it was all online during the pandemic, and I just didn’t make it two weeks,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins explained that without the responsibility of coming to class, he lacked the motivation to stay on track with school work.
In an email response to The Citizen, Laney College Vice President of Instruction Rebecca Opsata provided the percentages of how classes are spread across all modalities for the Laney Spring 2023 semester.
45 percent of classes are on campus and entirely face-to-face. 49 percent are online, split between 28 percent asynchronous and 21 percent synchronous classes. Six percent of total classes at Laney use the hybrid modality.
I appreciate this student-centered survey. As a department chair, I’m concerned that what we offer be impactful, robust, ‘doable’ and attractive to prospective students. — This survey conducted on the Laney campus is probably a little biased because it surveys only students taking at least one on-campus class. — But previous Peralta surveys only asked currently enrolled students during the Covid ‘shutdown’ and got glowing reviews of online learning. Obviously the best survey would be inclusive of all currently and recently enrolled students as well as ‘prospective’ students: thousandsq of folks who could really benefit from Laney’s/Peralta’s EDU pathways but have not yet enrolled. Maybe the prevailing modalities are part of the reasons why these ‘prospects’ have been ‘sitting it out’? — But great job Citizen asking folks on-campus how it’s going! As an on-campus instructor I want to concur: GOING GREAT!!! Spontaneity, immediacy, full human discourse including facial expressions and body language — in ‘real time’ and with no login or connectiviissues — It’s ALL GOOD!!!!!
-Chris Weidenbach ‘Cdub’
Laney English dept.