Christopher Ruiz/CourierAn illustration depicting a person utilizing a VR headset, a person using a laptop, the Earth from space, and an empty classroom, illustrating the meeting of academia and the world wide web. Images courtesy of Canva and Tested. Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
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PCC has transitioned to remote instruction and not everyone was ready for it. From professors not being able to navigate Canvas, to students not having access to a computer, or having access to the internet at home. Those who do have access to computers and the internet are taking it for granted. Online instruction could work if professors and students didn’t treat it as a vacation. Remote instruction entails responsibility on both professors and students, and for many, class is beginning to feel optional. If this mentality continues, remote instruction will not work.

Now more than ever, getting in touch with a professor is extremely difficult. There is no doubt that professors have a lot on their plate, especially given the circumstances. However, that does not excuse the lack of communication. We are all trying to get used to this new world. Many students feel ghosted by their professors since COVID-19 began and everything went digital. Students don’t know if their emails are going through or if the professors are simply not keeping up with their emails. 

If professors are flooded with copious amounts of emails, they can easily address it during remote instruction and offer a solution. Professors could also check in on their students here and there. A short email saying “How’s everything?” would go a long way. 

Professors are not the only ones struggling with this transition. Students are also trying to get used to the new normal, and some are treating remote instruction as a vacation.

“I was so used to the routine, and now I get lazy to have class. It doesn’t feel mandatory anymore,” said Mateen Quddus, a sophomore student majoring in business.

Mateen says remote instruction has begun to feel like a chore. He just doesn’t want to do it. 

It’s hard to blame him. If remote instruction feels optional, that is mainly because professors are making it seem optional. If professors would enforce attendance and have more communication with students, the class would not feel optional anymore. 

Students who are transferring this fall couldn’t be more frustrated by this transition. Natalie Lopez, a sophomore soon to graduate is not happy with this transition.

“I’m supposed to be graduating this year and transferring to UCI this fall. I accidentally missed a page when I was sending my professor a copy of my exam, and that missing page brought my grade down to a C,” said Lopez. 

Lopez said she cannot afford to fail this class. Not when she’s so close to graduating.

Without a doubt, communication, or the lack thereof, is the biggest issue with this new transition. For students like Natalia, communication with their professors is imperative, especially since most transferees are admitted conditionally. Many students cannot afford to fail this semester, and professors need to understand that. 

We are barely three weeks in. So far, this transition is not working at all. A big part of the problem is also the solution. Professors and students need to stop treating remote instruction as a vacation and commit to it. If this is going to work, there needs to be better communication and a sense of understanding from both parties. From the looks of it, remote instruction is staying for a while. All we can do is try to work with it. 

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