“It feels like I lost a semester!”
The third straight month FH and CAU in Kiel hold all the lectures online. Students have already rubbed through the first shock, tried out a new normality and rethought a lot of things. Now they can draw conclusions from the summer online experience and describe their impressions. It was difficult for Jasmin, who studies at CAU, to accept the new rules.
“It feels like I lost a semester! I learn a lot, but I miss social interactions. I do my best, when I can talk live with my friends about the studies”.Jasmin
For Mitu, CAU student from Bangladesh, was not easy to be fully engaged in seminars.
“The teacher can see all of us in normal classroom. He can easily notice, when I want to ask a question. Now I have to write or start my audio. It seems for me like I interrupt the teacher, when I ask something”.Mitu
Students share the view that both CAU and FH handled the crisis situation very professional. They are generally satisfied with the organisational process taking into consideration that universities were pressed for time. In their view professors have found the new way of communication under present circumstances. They are always open to student’s offers.
The best part is the students have nowadays more time. The classes can take part almost everywhere. You do not have to spend time to get to the university. “I can do my regular work and at the same time my classes”, Mitu laughs. “But sometimes it only seems that you have plenty of time”, Kira, student from FH Kiel, shares her views.
“In the beginning it felt like there was more time, because so many activities were no longer possible. It sometimes feels now like there is less time, because we are all a little bit stressed out about the whole situation”.Kira
I vividly remember how during one video-conference the password from my mailbox popped up on the screen as my nickname. It still remains a puzzle for me how did it happen. But the password in e-mail account was changed successfully. “Weird student’s nicknames are not unusual at this time”, Gulshan, student from CAU, tells.
«Sometimes international students log in during video-conferences with the nicknames written in their native language. So that professors can’t understand whom they speak to”.Gulshan
See you later
It is no laughing matter, when during important video conference you get kicked out of the Zoom-meeting. A poor network connection is a common problem in this semester. “I often have to reconnect my internet in order to have a clear audio of the lectures. In most cases I can join again after restarting the meeting”, Kira explains. “I had many awkward situations. My microphone didn’t work. Now it functions again, but I don’t know why. I did nothing”, Mitu tells.
Three months ago almost no one have ever heard about Zoom. Now this video conferencing software platform becomes a central instrument for many students. “May be without corona I will never know about Zoom”, Mitu says. But now it has become an important part of the learning process. It is reliable, easy-to-use and reminds students simple Skype calls, but with more participants.
Are we comfortable with the change?
Could students imagine that in the future the whole learning process or at least a large part of it will be organised online? Many of them are not entirely comfortable with the change. There is nothing quite like meeting with your friends on campus, taking a coffee, talking about relevant issues and going together to the seminar.
“I need people around me to learn properly. My fellow students play such a big part in my own personal learning process. I can’t imagine a whole studying course online. At least for me it wouldn’t be beneficial”.Katrin
Return me to the campus world!
During this summer semester Katrin and other students from her group have created special study club where they meet each other in Skype several times a week. She has also organised pub quiz night on Discord. “Just to do something more personal, out of Zoom-meeting and lectures context. We are just doing all this student stuff that we usually do in a real time”, Katrin explains her idea. For FH and CAU students digital campus world has a range of advantages. But it has nothing to do with the real-world communication.