Students adjust to online classes, mismatched time zones
As many states issued a required shutdown and athletics organizations announced season cancelations due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, universities across the world shut down face-to-face interaction and conducted classes online. Professors at Minot State University spent their spring break learning how to use Blackboard and host online classes. Students themselves had to adjust to logging on daily. While the transition improved, many students found it difficult to do online classes, and were disappointed to stay home for the rest of the semester.
“I have never been very technologically savvy, so navigating the online platform instead of going to class in person has been difficult,” said Nina Arias, a junior majoring in broadcasting and professional communication.
Arias is not alone in her frustration over having to take classes online, as many other students like her share the same difficulties. Elisabeth Christensen, a sophomore majoring in English, talked about how communication is different and more difficult due to being in a different location than her professors.
“There is a time difference, and I no longer have to meet up for class to talk but rely more heavily on writing as a means of communication and learning,” said Christensen.
Aside from not being able to see their professors in person, many students face the trouble of being from out-of-state and living in different time zones then North Dakota. Arias lives in Salinas, California, which is two hours behind North Dakota time. Christensen lives in Denmark which is seven hours ahead of North Dakota.
“The time change has made being on time to classes difficult because I have to set an alarm hours earlier than I usually would wake up,” said Arias.
“I am seven hours ahead so some of my classes that used to be set at midday are now in the evening, and I am not a night-person,” said Christensen. “I also find it difficult to no longer be able to structure my day around going to class. I have to have a bigger level of self-discipline to get up in the morning and do my homework.”
Despite the setbacks with online classes, both students have found positive aspects to having their classes online for the remainder of the semester.
“As far as positive experiences go, the professors are much more understandable when assignments are late due to having to learn primarily online as well as time differences,” said Arias.