3rd December 2020
Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the view of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students.
Earlier in October it was announced that all face-to-face teaching at the University of Liverpool would be moved online, as a result of the Tier 3 restrictions taking place in Liverpool. This is an extremely unprecedented and confusing time, at LGSM we have been lucky enough to hear everyone’s opinions in regards to the move online.
“I do not believe that an appropriate level of teaching is being provided by the University. I understand that we are currently loving inn unprecedented times, however the University’s handling of the situation hasn’t been ideal. I feel there has been a lack of clarity and communication, I have not been provided with a complete timetable and I have been informed that many of my lectures are pre-recorded lectures from the last academic year. This lack of structure and interaction will do nothing for my motivation, and I am going to find it difficult to produce high quality, structured work”
“I feel the move to online learning is going to be less useful in comparison to face-to-face teaching. Students won’t be getting as much academic fulfilment out of it, than if lectures and seminars were held in person. As a result, it is completely unjustifiable for the University to charge full price for the courses. At the very least there should be a reduced fee.
“I’d say that whilst students understand the obvious difficulty with the current situation, very little has been done by the University in terms of communication, mental health protection of students, course quality and overall planning, given the fact that the University has had months to come up with many viable alternatives to the current climate, especially as only last week students have now been told that the smaller in-person seminars have also been moved online”
“The move to online teaching definitely affects motivation, as it makes attending lectures and seminars feel optional even though they aren’t, and I prefer going into a place to study and coming back to a distinguished home environment and I’m finding it difficult to combine the two. I do understand the necessity to move teaching online, however it is still completely unfair to that we have to pay full tuition for facilities, and other aspects of university that we are not allowed to utilise. Last year the University emphasised the importance of physical attendance and told us that watching lectures online is not a sufficient learning method, however now they are trying to convince us that an entire semester/year of online lectures is a completely adequate substitute for physical lectures.”
“It’s completely wrong that the university cancelled face to face teaching with just one working day’s notice before teaching began. This new outbreak is not unexpected and they could have made this decision before students returned. It is unfair on lecturers that they had to re-plan how to teach content in a very short space of time. It also seems unfair that students who require labs or practical sessions (predominantly those on science-based courses) still get some face to face teaching whilst those of us who chose to do an arts degree lose all our face to face teaching. Either all courses are worthy of in person teaching or none are. It is right that we had the option to return to Liverpool but we should have been able to do this knowing what our teaching would look like for the year. Many students will now be paying for accommodation they didn’t need and with new restrictions coming in place many will also either lose their job or have their income significantly reduced. Students must have the option to return home if they desire. Authorities must stop blaming students for the recent rise in ‘cases’ (let’s not forget that the tests are not reliable and false positives are not a rarity) when most of us have been following the rules the best we can and we were told to come back to university. It is clear now that this is purely down to economic factors – we were brought back so landlords and the university got their rent money. Mental health must be protected just as much as, if not more than, physical health in this time. Students deserve better!”
“The online teaching system is very frustrating and disappointing. We are facing the same difficulties as last year’s students but whilst they got a safety net to compensate, we receive nothing. We were promised a high quality education but are instead paying over 9 grand for pre-recorded videos and worse access to the library. Most of us had to come back due to housing contracts but have returned to a system that will most likely be detrimental to our grades and overall degree.”
“So overall I’m not a fan of online learning. The lack of structure around lectures, especially as they’re not timetabled, makes it harder to find the motivation to engage with the content and build a proper structure for studying. I do like that some lectures have been put into smaller chunks though e.g.) a 1 hour lecture is now 3 20 minute lectures. I also like canvas more than vital as it gives a clearer overview of what tasks need to be completed and I love a ready compiled to-do list. I can’t comment on seminars or anything on zoom as I’ve only had one timetabled thing which was a workshop today and I couldn’t get on to it because my Wi-Fi connection was really poor:( Also, break out rooms are terrifying and I live in constant fear of being put in one :/) “
“I personally feel that, over the course of summer, my course has made an effort to make online teaching as enriching as possible given the unfortunate circumstances. However, I cannot say this has been the same for all courses. From what I have gathered, from anecdotal and personal accounts on social media, different courses have taking different approaches to the move to online teaching, and unfortunately, as a result, some have made more effort to provide students with the resources and support they so deserve, than others. Despite us all paying equal amounts for our courses, some of us seem to be getting more bang for our buck than others, which is hugely unfair.”
“Online learning is terrible. Some people in my seminars have had trouble getting on and it’s next to impossible to have a proper conversation over zoom due to the time delay. The fact that it’s still £9k (which was already a rip off) is just another kick in the teeth.”
Want to find out more about how COVID-19 is affecting campus, have a read of our On Campus articles!
Feature Image Credit; Pixabay