As remote learning continues at the University of Chicago, students, faculty, and the wider UChicago community are finding innovative ways to collaborate and connect. From discussion-based classes to studio art courses, our students are continuing to refine their learning styles and habits to excel in these unprecedented times. Below are stories from students at the College about their remote learning experiences.
“All of my professors have been incredibly understanding of everyone’s situation.” – Alex C., Class of 2022.
As an international student, Alex shared how lucky he feels to be in such a collaborative and supportive community. Initially, he worried that attending classes would be a challenge since he is currently 12 hours ahead of the local time in Chicago. He was surprised by how his professor segmented the class into smaller sections spread throughout the day to accommodate international students. “I was so excited to have the option to attend the 9 PM Central Time class, which is 9 AM for me!” said Alex.
“Remote art classes have been working surprisingly well for me.” – Sara C., Class of 2020
Sara is taking two art classes this quarter. To ensure that she would have that studio experience, at-home kits, including drawing paper, pencils, and even printmaking equipment, were sent to her doorstep. Fortunately, Sara was able to free up a designated space for her art at home in Toronto and recreate a studio class experience.
“I was surprised by how differently my two art professors approached their respective classes”, said Sara. “In my drawing class, all lectures are pre-recorded. I initially thought that I would prefer live classes, but my experience with recordings has been amazing! The recorded art videos allowed me to pause and rewind, which has been extremely helpful for me to refine my drawing skills.”
“I love how engaged my peers are even though we are taking classes remotely.” – Lizzie H., Class of 2021
Lizzie shared her concerns over remote learning and how she initially thought that it was impossible to recreate a classroom learning environment without physically being in class. “When I heard that all Spring Quarter classes would be online, I was curious about what that experience would be like. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by my experience so far,” said Lizzie. Through a mix of recorded lectures, offline assignment submissions, in-class activities, and online break-out groups, she quickly realized that her concerns were mere concerns.
“I have been extremely impressed by the effort of our faculty.” – David L., Class of 2021
David was amazed by how versatile remote learning has been, especially when it came to in-class participation. Through Zoom, an online meeting platform, students can engage with the rest of the class by speaking into the microphone or typing their questions in the text box. David shared how the ability to ask those pressing questions in a different format has been incredibly valuable. “I am on the quieter side, which is why I love having the option to engage in class without having the pressure of speaking in front of a large group of people.”
Despite the challenges facing remote learners due to the coronavirus pandemic, the unofficial motto of UChicago—“Life of the Mind”—is embodied in every aspect of our community. Ongoing learning and intellectual engagement is possible because of the invaluable support of the administration, faculty, parents, and students. The UChicago community has been and will continue to find new ways to learn together.