The truth behind online learning

Is this the future of the classroom?


Signs blocking all of the entrances to the American River College campus state that it is closed until further notice. The campus has been closed since March 18, and will continue to remain closed through the spring 2021 semester, according to a Sept. 16 faculty email sent by LRCCD Chancellor Brian King. (Photo by Will Minke)

Will Minke, Staff Writer

Due to all of the limits that COVID-19 has set forth, a majority of colleges across the country have transitioned to complete remote learning for the fall 2020 semester, including American River College. Many students and faculty members said they have mixed emotions about this commitment to the online transition. 

There are many different types of problems that students and professors are experiencing this semester. These issues can range from lack of communication to trouble obtaining books for classes, and not to mention the other circumstances that the year 2020 has brought along with it. 

“It’s been more difficult than my first couple of years of teaching,” says American River College geography professor Charlie Thomsen. 

Thomsen says he is basically learning how to teach in a way he was never trained to do before. Although, this issue doesn’t only affect professors, students are also feeling the pain of online classes. 

One of the most common issues mentioned when students were asked about their fall semester struggles was the task of acquiring textbooks. The lack of a library to rent books from has left many students in trouble, especially because the library’s online book selection is quite slim. 

“I’m just not sure what to do,” says Nick Vasquez, a second year business administration student at ARC. 

Vasquez explained the situation he is in with trying to obtain his textbooks for the semester. Vasquez has always used the library to rent his textbooks out rather than spend the money to buy them, which leaves him stuck this semester. 

The substitution of virtual classrooms is another huge change in the transition to completely remote learning. This may be new for some college students, especially ones that are starting their first semester, like Carson Mitchell, a first year business student at ARC. 

Mitchell says he is entering his college education at a very weird time. Many returning students at ARC know what it’s like to meet in a college classroom, and it may take a long time for students to experience anything along those lines again. 

“Experiencing college for the first time through a computer screen will be a challenge, but I’m ready,” Mitchell says. 

Mitchell says he is looking forward to starting his semester, and hopes to see things return to the oh-so missed “normal” that we once had. 

“I just wonder how long until we can meet in person,” Mitchell says.