Editors note: Marissa Chamberlin is a photography and journalism student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who is submitting articles while home from school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

College students are missing out on the experience of attending the college or university of their choice. Going to classes is a significant part of one's learning experience and it’s important to be able to communicate and work with other students and professors. Instead, due to COVID-19, students find themselves unable to attend face-to-face classes. They’ve been forced to leave campus and take classes online from home leading to social isolation restrictions that are not normally a part of the college or university experience.

Many students studying the arts, music, science, nursing, sports and other programs are having a hard time going from face-to-face to online classes, for some this is a first time  experience. This is a big change, especially for those who are less inclined to use technology as a main part of their learning. Taking online courses that are created to be in-person courses, set up unique challenges. Often a course will have a lab or group projects that now have to be reconfigured to allow for social distancing as well as distance learning. In-person versus online learning are completely different experiences. “I am not a fan of going from face-to-face classes to online classes,” said Kayley Bruce, who attends the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. “We miss the classroom discussion and some of the campus support resources are gone.”

Bruce is especially affected by this change as a student with learning disabilities.

 “I had a resource called Project Success that helped me with my school work,” she said. “Now like many other students, I have to work closely with my professors about finding replacements for the lost resources I once had with face-to-face classes.” 

UW Oshkosh student Chase Lowen echoed Bruce’s statement. 

“My opinion is that online classes aren’t as effective as face-to-face because with face-to-face instruction, you can communicate with people without having to worry about technological failure,” he said. “And even if technology does fail, there are other alternatives.”  

While students and professors are faced with challenges regarding learning formats, they find they are resilient and can overcome what comes their way. They’re all excited for everyone to be healthy and for their learning experience to go back to “normal —yet they understand there’s a new “normal” coming their way.

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