Zoom – Zoom fatigue | Penn State’s incoming freshmen express anticipation ahead of return to in-person learning | University Park Campus News
For incoming freshmen looking toward creating a “normal” college experience for themselves, the majority of Penn State’s classes will resume in person starting this fall after offering largely virtual instruction amid the pandemic.
After experiencing various high school mitigation policies, freshmen will get their first chance to be out-and-about by living on campus and — for those who are vaccinated — learning unmasked in classrooms.
Virtual learning resulted in a lot of “Zoom fatigue” for high school students, which is why incoming freshman James Biser said he is looking forward to in-person classes this fall.
“Online learning, especially when it came to subjects like math, for example, that was a real struggle for me to grasp without being in person,” Biser (freshman-computer science) said.
He said there was only so much teachers could do to help when classes were virtual.
“When you have to ask a question, you can’t like privately talk and go up to them… You have to ask in front of the whole entire class,” Biser said.
Another incoming freshman, Paula Szymanowicz, said she believes the different environments during in-person and virtual settings can affect learning outcomes.
“From my past experiences, personally, I definitely thrive better in in-person… classes,” Szymanowicz (freshman-food science) said. “The content that the teacher or professor is telling you is so much different than learning from a textbook or learning from an article online.”
Zharia Hill said she had a better learning experience in high school when she had in-person classes versus during virtual classes amid the pandemic.
Though Hill (freshman-meteorology) ended up in person during most of her senior year, she said she believes in-person learning will be different for her in college because “there’s a lot of people coming [to campus].”
Szymanowicz said in-person learning can be different because “you’re interacting with other people.”
“You get to see more people, talk to more people,” Biser said. “I feel like everyone’s mood would just go up.”
Hill said she believes switching from high school in-person learning to college in-person learning will be an adjustment.
“[With] in-person college learning, you have to go to office hours to get extra help,” Hill said. “You have to take the extra steps to meet with professors in person instead of… setting up a Zoom link.”
And, she expressed concern over coronavirus mitigation policies heading into the fall semester and said she believes it would be “good” for people to keep their masks on.
“I’m a little concerned [because] there’s a lot more people than my high school,” Hill said. “[I’m] not that concerned about it, but I’m still scared [because] there’s a lot of people on campus.”
Yet, Szymanowicz is still anticipating the beginning of a new chapter — and with lessened coronavirus restrictions.
“I’m looking forward to thriving in a new in-person experience.”
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