Some UAB students feel safe with the university’s academic response to COVID-19, while others worry that the options hinder their learning and make an already stressful period the more difficult.
“It’s a lot harder to learn online than it is in person,” said Alex Le, a sophomore majoring in business management. “But due to the circumstances, I really like that they’ve been pushing to make it more online than other schools have,”
Le, a commuter student, said he retains more information in person yet appreciates the ability to have options with how he chooses to attend.
“It’s nice to have the option to come in if I want,” Le said. “Like, if I feel safe, then I will go.”
Abbi Pearman, a sophomore majoring in public health and Spanish, said she does not struggle with online learning and that UAB is doing the most responsible thing by opting for more distant instruction when considering other people involved.
“The weight of affecting your overall community outweighs the fact that students are losing in-person learning,” Pearman said.
Other students share this same confidence in the school’s approach. Sara Grace El Feraly, a senior majoring in nursing, said she respects all the different actions UAB took in the classroom, including the pass-fail option available to students.
“For me personally, I have liked the modes of learning. They’ve helped me,” El Feraly said. “I have felt safe in the times I have had to go in person for something like a lab.”
Ethan Spencer, a junior majoring in marketing, said he has never personally felt at risk while on campus and has problems with the lack of accommodations UAB has made for encouraging options that he says are not ideal.
“There’s no discount on tuition,” Spencer said. “They can try as much as they want, but it’s just not the same experience as talking to people in person.”
Jevaughn Meyers, a sophomore in kinesiology, said classes would be better if given in-person with more precautions. “It really doesn’t make any sense,” Meyers said. “I mean, in-person classes would be better if they just had everyone get tested.”
About hybrid learning Lora Watkins, a sophomore majoring in biology, said, “It’s so frustrating because you’re just going back and forth.”
Watkins said the online learning structure UAB has employed had left her displeased, “to say the least.”
Despite her frustrations with online learning and difficulties engaging in her classes, Watkins said she still feels comfortable on campus.
“I feel like it’s been necessary,” Watkins said.”I mean, it’s definitely not fun, but it is what we have to do.”