Colleges see increase in students preferring online courses

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) – Zooming has become a way of life for students during the pandemic. But CSU Bakersfield and Bakersfield College are seeing some students preferring to stay online now that colleges and universities across the country are returning to primarily in-person learning.

Colleges are currently in the enrollment period and at Bakersfield College, Dean of Instructional Effectiveness Craig Howard said online classes fill up faster than face-to-face classes, and at CSUB they see the same. for general education online courses. .

Administrators from CSUB and BC said convenience and health concerns may be driving this demand for online courses.

“I think we have a lot of safety practices in place, both our vaccination policy and our masking,” said Dr. Liora Gubkin, associate dean, School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) at California State University , Bakersfield.

Gubkin with CSUB added that it is understandable that there are still health issues, notes that the school was not meant to be an online type of institution and that some courses just do not benefit from the format. in line.

Before the pandemic, CSUB was 95% in person and the rest online. During COVID that changed and now they are moving to a 50/50 approach in some schools.

Gubkin suggests that students pay attention to the courses offered to try to find the one they prefer.

Meanwhile, Bakersfield College is looking to adjust its approach to student demand, as in-person classes have gone from 89% before the pandemic to 49% now.

“The further we go, now we are in the spring of 2022 and that number has dropped from 85% to 49-50%. I feel like it’s becoming more and more of a cozy place, ”said Hayward.

Both said they have teams in place to make sure classes are accessible to students with disabilities

Hayward added that they also shift a lot of their resources and advice to offer it in a way that allows them to see their students gravitate.

As online classes fill up, some students still prefer to be in person.

This is Eli Bautista’s third year in British Columbia. The first year was in person, the second year was completely online, and this year was a mix of the two, better known as the hybrid.

Before the pandemic, hybrid courses that sometimes meet online and sometimes in person made up 1% of courses in British Columbia and now represent 13%.

“Most of my classes are going to be hybrid and it’s kinda sucked, I tried to get as many as possible in person and most of them are just offered as a hybrid,” Bautista said.

Bautista added that at least the hybrid offers a possibility of in-person contact where they can ask any questions, which they have more comfortably than online.

“So it may be that online will be a more important component of the class schedule in the future and it will be a beacon of hope to have been immersed in this unforeseen life experience,” said Hayward,

Hayward added that only time will tell if this new class ratio is here to stay, but notes that there are many working or parent students at Bakersfield College who are able to work better with flexibility. that offers online.

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