Ever since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, life has turned into a series of changes and adjustments. A major aspect of our lives as students, our education, has also seen some significant changes: online classes. On the 15th of January earlier this year, our prestigious University of Ibadan released its academic calendar showing that the first semester of the 2020/2021 session will be in form of virtual learning. The university resumed officially on the 20th of February but lectures started mid-march and it has been a not-so-smooth ride.

This article contains interviews with students of the University of Ibadan asking them about their takes on online learning.

“The online classes have been good and it beats my expectations. The problem management was great. The glitches are not overwhelming but there’s room for improvement. The online classes have allowed me to do other things, especially more time to read and it also removes the hustle and bustle of going to class though there’s the issue of poor interfacing with lecturers and coursemates compared to during physical classes.”

       Dayo – Biochemistry student, UI.

“I do not think it’s ideal for medical students to observe virtual classes except for 100l students who may not be doing a lot of practicals. It’s not exactly a big deal to have online classes as long it’s conducted properly. But then medical students are not supposed to miss out on hands-on experiences like cadaver dissection and clinical rotations. It’s the way things are so I guess we’ll have to do it like that. I’m hopeful that everything goes back to normal soon and we resume physically in the next semester.”

           Zema – Medical student, UI.

“It’s mixed feelings for me. The demerits of the online class are just as much as the merits. It saves them time and stress of moving physically from one class to the other but then its defaults are network glitches, irregular power supply and data services. Ultimately, it’s not as bad as I initially imagined, it’s actually okay.”

           Morenike- Nursing student, UI.

“For me, the online classes have not been beneficial. I always have to read the courses on my own because it’s either the professor is just reading from the slide or explains just some parts, it’s really annoying and confusing. Although I have more time to myself compared to during physical classes due to my heavy workload of things to study and learn on my own, as we both know UI shows no mercy when setting questions, I don’t really have time for other things, everything is just clustered kinda.”

             Nifemi – student, UI.

“The data, the network… sometimes, the lecture will hold on one platform and someone might not even know because the classes are not quite organised. Most times, lecturers just send out their lecture notes, read the lecture notes out during the class and give a series of assignments. Courses clash on some occasions. When we had physical classes, I was trying my best in English not to talk of now that it is online and it’s not so smooth. Many times I feel so drained and stressed out mentally.”

           Blessing Ayodeji – Education student, UI.

“About the online class, it has been going on well to some extent and the school should be commended. There are hitches though, which includes a lack of regular power supply and poor network. The school could have done better by providing a means of data support to students and staffs as the cost of getting data is very high. Overall, the school has done well so far, this is just the first time, you know. I believe things will improve next time if there is any need for this again.”

       Elisha- Physics student, UI.

“In my department, I think it’s quite fine because practically all my courses are synchronous, so there’s more interaction between the lecturers and students. Although there are network glitches, it’s not something beyond what I can cope with. A strike against online classes is that I constantly have to call home for data and I wonder how people aren’t very buoyant are fairing. The online classes move quite fast and I miss the social and physical interaction of physical classes”

        Mosope – Medical student, UI.

The move to online class has been quite inconvenient for many students as we are all used to the usual routine of commuting to school and attending in-person classes. As a result, it is quite human to feel overwhelmed and distressed. Personally, I think it’s an opportunity to get a head start on classes as we don’t have to move our graduation to a later date due to the global pandemic. Having said that, remember to set aside time for self-care. Reach out to your friends and lecturers to help with studies and stay connected virtually while social distancing. Listening to music, eating good food, drinking water and minding your business are good ways to take care of yourselves. Be kind to yourself. Good luck!

Temiloluwa Ishola

Preclinical Press