The transition to online classes may put some students at a disadvantage

Students and professors are forced to make the switch to online classes mid-semester


All classes at American River College have moved to online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing all students to now work from home in all their classes. (Photo Illustration by Brandon Zamora)

Brandon Zamora, Sports Editor

With American River College closing its campus due to the coronavirus, all classes at ARC have been moved online. While this may not be an issue to some students, it’s an issue to others, especially for students who don’t know the first thing about taking a class online.

There is a reason students have the choice to pick between in-person classes and online classes: we all learn in different ways so we choose the method that’ll give us the better chance to pass the class. Due to the coronavirus, however, all in-person classes at ARC have moved online, which is putting students like myself at a disadvantage. 

I’d rather just extend the semester going into the summer or just cancel the rest semester altogether, rather than switching my classes online in such a short amount of time. 

I’m a student who uses the Disability Services and Programs for Students (DSPS) department because of my learning disability and autism. The main reason I decide to take my classes in person and in a classroom is because if I have any questions on something I don’t understand I can just ask my professor or even a classmate for help right away. 

The thing is though, I’m not always going to understand what someone will explain to me after the first explanation, so I’ll need to keep asking questions. In some online classes, I can’t do that. My questions will have to come through email or texting if possible and then I will need to wait for a response. 

Some students, not just those under DSPS, have never taken an online class before and now have to figure out on the spot how to not only take a class like this, but do so in so little time. 

Some students don’t have a computer at home, or even internet access. In a time where the world is in a crisis due to a virus and people are asked to stay home, how would someone who doesn’t have internet or access to technology like a computer be able to attend online classes for the remainder of the semester and pass?

ARC did offer Chromebooks to students who needed them, but they still need internet to access them and attend the classes online.

I’m not trying to say I don’t understand why the sudden change to online classes when a lot of people are getting infected by the coronavirus, because I do. In a time like this it is best to put a pause to in-person classes so we stop the spread of this disease. 

Forcing everyone to move online with little to no time to prepare just isn’t fair. Not all professors have the know-how to teach a class online so even they are put at a disadvantage, which will make things ever harder for their students.

How will art or athletic classes at ARC handle this hardship? Would students need to record themselves exercising from home and send it to the professor and would art students need to empty their wallets for more supplies to do the work from home? 

Extending the semester into the summer nor canceling the semester isn’t likely going to happen and some of us have to deal with the struggle of doing our work from an online class the rest of the semester. I just hope everyone who struggles with online classes are still able to pass their classes.