Remote learning may not end just because the pandemic does
It is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine have changed the social structure, economics and teaching administration within education. The question is instead, will the changes be indefinite?
I would argue yes. Many business rituals have changed in response to quarantine. NDSU, being in the business of education, has also followed the ensuing pattern.
Having experienced a full semester under quarantine, let’s not mince words: activity at the college is still occurring, just at a slower pace and with fewer people.
The classes have been set online to be activated at the push of a button on a link. It is easier for students to tune into class online instead of attending in the classroom. This is not only a change of pace for the student but also for the NDSU staff.
In a discussion with one such instructor who shall remain nameless, he expressed the possible future of NDSU and its use of remote learning, explaining his foresight for the campus future.
“North Dakota State… invested 19 million dollars into this remote technology. They got a grant from the U.S. government and I don’t see them trashing it when this (quarantine) is all over. I can see it going that way…I’m not used to it,” he continued, “It’s tough… You just have to get through it, that’s all.”
What does this mean for us students? It means that our learning system could have been inevitably changed. Classes and on-campus activities (the latter of which have been in seemingly short supply this year) are both remote. Yes, the college is still encouraging student social relationships, but fewer people are attending and this time they have more than issues of introversion to back their reasons for not coming to campus.
In other places, many people have been put off work in their jobs and others have taken to working from home. In relation to out-of-home activities (restaurants, movie theaters, fitness clubs, and yes, college), I believe people have become comfortable with their new situation at home and simply don’t care to change their habits.
While certain organizations on campus have adapted, for example, the College of Business has made moves to help bridge the gap between students and technology, but many students who join NDSU in the future will probably not know the full experience of an in-person campus.
Classes and the business involved with them have adapted through the activity of remote learning. Business methods thereof have officially changed. As for the foreseeable future of NDSU, education has indefinitely changed. Enjoy it, as it’s all you can do now.