Marshall University students react to emphasis on virtual learning

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:15 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Marshall University students are reacting to school officials’ decision to transition extra fall courses to live, remote instruction.

The university made that announcement Wednesday.

Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert said the following in a statement: “This transition will allow us to continue to monitor the status of the pandemic in our community, further reduce density inside our classroom facilities, and preserve, as much as possible, the important on-campus experience for our freshmen. It also will give us the best possible chance to move forward safely, while providing a quality educational experience and flexibility for all our students.”

Alayna Gutherie, a senior social work major at Marshall University, found the abrupt change to virtual learning in the spring semester to be difficult.

“Without being in the classroom setting, it was more difficult to stay consistent with your school and stay on top of your work,” Guthrie said.

Gutherie, along with Jon Russel, a Marshall University graduate student, believes they are better prepared this semester with one semester of virtual learning already completed.

“It will be a little easier than what it was last semester with COVID. Everything just hit. In March, we basically just shut down, and after spring break everyone had to immediately transition to online,” Russel said.

Although Russel prefers face-to-face instruction, he believes the university is making the right decision.

“I think they said freshmen and grad students would be more face to face, and then sophomores, juniors, seniors would be more online. I mean, I understand you have to protect the students and keep everyone safe as you can,” he said.

Students expect to be notified by university officials by Aug. 4 to determine which of their scheduled classes will be virtual learning.

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