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By Sean Lanigan

In the time of the Covid-19 virus, businesses are closed, and most people are working from home. Students from elementary school to college are being required to make the change to online classes, which include the students and professors at Five Towns College. Some of the classes online are taking place through Zoom.

Brigette Boyle, a Mass Communications Professor at Five Towns College, noticed one positive aspect of electronic learning. “College students usually lead very hectic lives. With more time, I see students being able to be more creative with assignments,” said Boyle.

Online learning could increase in the future and become an even bigger part of the norm for companies and businesses. Dr. David Cohen, President of Five Towns College, believes this can be a big positive. “Students are developing the knowledge, skills, and competencies to learn from a distance, and this is a skill that will help them for the rest of their lives,” Cohen said.

Online learning could be a great tool for people who are strong visual learners and do not require an interactive classroom setting. However, some students are better suited to hands-on learning. Sebastian Prout, a Mass Communications Major at Five Towns College, misses that kind of involvement. “To be fair, I truly do not like online learning due to Five Towns College being a hands-on type of school. And there is more work on the computer with a lot of the assignments due on the same day.”

Many articles that students are reading encourage them to keep things as normal as possible, and attending their Zoom classes in real-time is one way to do that. “My students and I all agree that we are so happy to have that time each week to connect with our FTC family. It provides some normalcy during a difficult time,” says Boyle when discussing the importance of live online learning.

Businesses and schools may use times like these to figure out what they’re going to do in the future. President Cohen says that Five Towns College exceeded its expectations in terms of how many classes the school was able to move to the online format. “We had originally projected that about 60 percent of coursework would successfully transition to an online modality. We were surprised to find that more than 90 percent of courses, including the students and faculty, successfully made the transition. We recognize that in many cases, the experience is not the same. However, we are using this experience to rethink how the college will offer its coursework in the future,” said Cohen.


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