UCCS students have new appreciation for in-person learning

Brianna Beassie-Weil 

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     It has been a year and a half since the spread of the COVID-19 virus led to the mass shutdown of universities and schools across the United States, including UCCS. As a result of the pandemic, many students were left in a state of limbo regarding their education, their home life and their careers.  

     Two current UCCS students and one alumnus discussed their experience with remote learning and how it has changed their opinion on in-person learning environments. 

     Megan Sowells, an undergraduate student majoring in information systems, acknowledged both the positive and negative ramifications of remote learning. 

     Sowells was one of many current students who was attending UCCS classes when the campus transitioned to a fully remote learning model in March 2020.  

     According to Sowells, the switch to the remote learning model offered her the opportunity to meet new professors and take courses she may not have taken otherwise. Additionally, there were more opportunities for Sowells to schedule appointments for tutoring when she needed it.  

     However, the negative impacts of the transition to remote learning in Sowells’ life meant that she was obtaining fewer work hours, and her homework load usually resulted in late nights working on assignments.  

     Regarding the challenges of remote learning in relation to work and home life, Sowells said, “I’d say it was a bit easier, but it felt like my classes were more ‘optional’ than if I’d come on campus. So, I was able to take a little more on as a workload, but my grades suffered a little more because of it.” 

     Remote learning offered Sowells the chance to continue to develop her time management skills, which included buying planners to keep track of assignments. 

     Sowells explained that in-person interactions are more valuable to her now. Sowells added, “It was so nice to be working with people again and talking with people again.”  

     Aaron Coffman, a first-year student new to UCCS also provided his insights into the experience of remote learning. 

     Although Coffman is new to the UCCS campus, he said, “Being in school physically is important because you have a place to study and a place to learn with a community.”  

     Coffman also talked about the development of his time management skills, stating, “You have to set time aside and be responsible.”  

     Coffman said that on a more positive note, remote learning was not too bad because it was nice to be more in control of his schedule. 

     He expressed that remote learning also made being accountable for school more difficult, and he was less focused on school life itself.  

     Given the nature of the last several months, Coffman pointed out that since most choices regarding school life were out of his control, he would not make any different decisions. 

Students returned to in-person classes on Aug. 23. Photo by Taylor Burnfield.