The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many college classrooms over the past months. Due to social distancing and other restrictions, professors and students are doing their best to work together and adapt to new forms of education through these hard times.
Across the nation, students have had mixed reactions to the wave of online courses, as professors attempt to adjust their course work to fit online platforms such as Zoom or video lectures.
Zoom, a video conference tool, has been a popular alternative that professors are now implementing into their classes. Although it is an efficient way for a group of students and instructors to interact live via any device, it has its problems.
Students are struggling to adapt to the abrupt transition. Zoom meetings may have a structured time, but schedules have changed for both students and professors. Not everyone is able to join class online due to time zone change, work responsibilities and family obligations.
Unlike Zoom, video lectures are uploaded online and can be accessed whenever it is convenient to each individual. This allows students who are considered essential workers to go to work and tend to their family while they try to keep up with their coursework.
Videos of the lecture slides or notes from professors are a focused and organized way for students to learn new information. Video lectures also allow individuals to pause the lecture to take notes at their own pace, rewind to listen to misheard information over again or review the topic that is being discussed for final exams.
While Zoom allows the professor to be present, it isn’t as efficient of a learning method as one would expect. Since everyone is in the comfort of their home, some students may have distracting visual or audio backgrounds, which hinders the ability for others to remain focused on the professor’s instructions.
The program works best for small groups, not so much for a typical classroom from a big college campus. Big groups in Zoom are typically disruptive, and instructors find it difficult to answer questions or keep students concentrated for an extended period.
The video conference program does not record the lectures and is usually fast paced because instructors try to provide as much content as they can within a short time frame. This becomes inconvenient for some students who struggle to remain attentive to the information the professor is writing or saying.
With the abrupt transition from in-person to online education, professors are adapting their lectures to fit an online setting. Video lectures and Zoom are different in the way of delivering information, but which one is better all depends on what works for specific students and professors.