DePaul teachers, students adjust to Zoom classes

With many people being affected by COVID-19 and the restrictions that the quarantines have produced; different groups of people have been forced to change their lifestyles to help them cope with being forced to adapt their schedule to these changes. These groups have had to conduct business from their homes or try to find a way to keep themselves busy until they can return to their old schedules.  

One of the biggest groups that have been affected by these changes have been college students. College students have had to make several sacrifices and changes to their lifestyles in order to continue their education at home. This has not been an easy task for students, as some have found it difficult to concentrate at home when they’re supposed to be attending their zoom classes. In person classes usually had the teacher’s or the professor’s watchful eye making sure that cell phones or laptops weren’t being used inappropriately during class so that students could focus and stay in top of their work. With the lack of teacher supervision and rules, students have found themselves using their cellphones more often than when they did during in person classes. 

Some teachers have been trying to enforce some rules to help minimize distractions so that their student are still able to focus and learn despite the challenges that come with zoom classes, including increased distractions and Wi-Fi struggles. But, many teachers have opted to be a bit more lenient with their classes rules to help make a possibly difficult semester at school easier.

Frances Mary Apostolos, a student at DePaul, has stated that the rules for the zoom classes she is taking this quarter have been less restrictive than what traditional in person classes normally. Apostolos went on to say, “I am in two online zoom classes regularly and there are no rules except everyone should mute themselves.”

While getting distracted during a class is more noticeable when the class is in person, it’s much more difficult to detect during a zoom class. The fact that zoom classes are being taught has led to a bit of an increase in students using their phones or the chat boards that zoom provides so that they can communicate with one another without interrupting the teacher has been a bit more prominent. Not every teacher has found this as a problem for their classes since some of them have made the attendance of their zoom classes optional. 

“As a result [of the classes being optional], I would say that students are generally more attentive than they would be in a classroom with 20-30 students. Some students are temporarily distracted by pets or family members but usually they come back to the discussion fairly quickly,” said Rebecca Cameron, an English teacher at DePaul.

Cameron decision to keep her classes optional for her students is more to make things easier for all parties involved. Not every student has the time or the resources to go to every class and teachers decisions to make their classes optional to their students seems to make for the students schedules.

The increasing temptation to use cell phones and the internet during class is not the only problem that students seem to be overcoming, but also trying to find a space so that they can have their zoom classes without being disturbed or disturbing other members of their family who are working or in school. While for some it is not the easiest to find a quiet space to conduct their business, others have found more creative ways of creating a workspace when working on school.

“I put my computer on top of my daughter’s Disney princess trash can, which sits on top of a little table, by the window in my bedroom. It’s the best light, and the quietest place in my house,” said Robin Hoecker, a photojournalism teacher at DePaul.

Having to change habits and being forced to endure the habits of fellow students and teachers while trying to learn under trying times has been something everyone has had to overcome these past few months. Not only that, but many people have been trying to cope with working on school while family members try to do their jobs in close proximity. Despite these setbacks and concerns, students and teachers have been determined to complete this school year to  the best of their abilities.