Photo By | Flickr – Daniel Nwani
By Marisa Morrison
Another semester has finally come to an end after months of severe uncertainty within the community of students questioning the quality and quantity of the service provided by the school administration and staff. We, as One York, were able to persevere within a period of chaos and distress.
After the celebrations of the end of one semester however, comes the concerns for the next. For many students and professors alike, these worries concern the coming of Spring 2021, and the expectation of similar conditions from Fall 2020 to resurface again.
Our staff and professors created a completely new learning environment in Fall 2020 that students soon accommodated through the use of internet chatroom services like Zoom and Discord, and Blackboard’s ability to host meetings through Collaborate Ultra. The use of such services are bound to make an uprising in the upcoming Spring 2021 semester.
Particularly in my case as a senior majoring in English, these new accommodations provided both positive and negative attributes that throughout the semester I had to learn to adapt to. Less instances of face-to-face meetings resulted in a somewhat lack in literature analysis, in which professors could not engage fully into the texts as normally.
In most cases, physical classes would engage in read-alouds or an open-ended discussion about the text in which each student could participate with their respective thoughts, however this was not always the case in our virtual meetings, which would be an expectation of Spring 2021 courses.
Even though there were many instances of group work included in some of our sessions, it was considerably lacking, whether in student participation or the exclusion of hearing actual voices and having to only read text messages.
However, amidst these negative aspects were many positive ones that helped keep the balance and provide an intellectual learning experience, aspects that look promising to return within the coming semester. The assignments given, in most scenarios, were fairly balanced.
All these same aspects can be expected of next semester, Spring 2021, where they have already confirmed that courses will mainly be held online instead of in person. The upcoming semester may have a bit more in store however, with the promise of a new efficient vaccine that is already creating a steady buzz within the community.
Expectations on such an event leave me concerned about college affairs during the semester, and not quite the beginning of the semester. If a successful vaccine is indeed delivered to the public, how soon should we expect to see a return to campus? And what of those who may refuse to participate in taking the vaccine? Will a mandate to take the vaccine soon be issued as a requirement to access school facilities and the campus itself?
Many of these concerns will soon start to arise in coming months as events proceed in affecting the college. Though most of what we expect to see in the coming semester seems to have already shown its light within Fall 2020. We took the preliminary practice course in Fall 2020, now it is time for the real deal in Spring 2021.