Interview: Online Learning and Its Future at Bellevue College

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As we head into what could be the last quarter of completely online learning at Bellevue College, students, faculty and administrators have had their fair share of time to familiarize themselves with the online learning process. In part two of our interview with President Locke, we discuss the future of teaching here at the College.

Q: Will the college have a greater number of asynchronous courses post-pandemic?

A: I think we should offer more courses to people at different times of the day, and that may mean asynchronous courses for the courses are entirely online where you can take the course at 1:00 in the morning or listen to a lecture at 1:00 in the morning. That could also apply to hybrid courses where part of it is also on the weekends or during the non-traditional hours, but then having more time for live in-person interaction or even online live interaction with faculty and fellow students.

Q: Have any instructors raised concerns about having in-person courses?

A: I have not been made aware of any concerns raised by the faculty. I think that part of the reason for that is because it is early in the transition discussions for these kinds of concerns to be raised. But the college is working to make sure that any return made to school will be safe for both students and staff.

For our final question, we asked the campus president and a couple of students what they believed to be the most difficult part of online learning.

Q: What do you believe has been the most challenging part of online learning?

Pres. Locke:

A: I obviously think it’s that lack of personal contact with other students and with the instructors and the faculty. Always being stuck in the house and I know that it’s hard to just constantly stare into the screen the whole hour or hour and a half. There are also issues with technology. I think we’re having problems with technology. Sometimes the connection or the quality of the Wi-Fi goes down. It’s garbled pictures, freezes your voice… that was not the best. 

Frohar Azizi:

A: For me, the difficult part of online learning is finding the motivation to do work. When it comes to it, I’ll sit down to do some work but not even 5 minutes later I’ll get up to go play tennis or scroll on TikTok. My house is way different from my classroom environment where I would have to sit down and do work on the spot, so I’m adapting to the freedom of online school. Because of this I usually end up doing work at the last minute.

Anonymous Student:

A: I find not going to campus to be the biggest difficulty of online learning. Back when I was attending high school classes, I enjoyed being able to walk the halls and talk to people face-to-face. But now I feel like I’m playing a video game and just interacting with people over Zoom. I have also been finding it hard to network with other people for future careers online. Overall, the lack of person-to-person interaction has been driving me nuts.