After a year of having most classes online, adjusting back to in-person classes has been difficult.
There are legitimate reasons for not attending classes in person, like being sick or not feeling comfortable going in person, so professors should offer a Zoom as an alternative. Even though professors didn’t offer Zoom links until the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still living through the pandemic, and it has taken a toll on all of us mentally and physically.
There have been many classes that I couldn’t make it to because I was sick, but I could still participate over Zoom. This can also help students stay up-to-date in a class if they are sick or can’t attend in person due to other issues.
When professors don’t offer a Zoom option, there is a chance this can negatively impact someone’s attendance. With the weather getting colder, more students are likely to get sick and subsequently miss class. Not being able to attend class for a couple days because of an illness could really affect someone’s grade in the class.
In the past, professors have used attendance as a grade, but this year, many of them changed their policies to make students more comfortable in the classroom.
“If I really wanted to promote a healthy environment in my classroom and protect students, I needed to make sure no one was going to come to class feeling like they had to if they were experiencing symptoms before they could get tested,” Mindy Hightower King, an adjunct professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said.
I have a professor who encourages us to use the class Zoom link if we aren’t feeling well and can’t make it to class. I appreciate that I can participate virtually without feeling like I have to risk getting others sick.
I have a couple other professors who do not offer a virtual option, which makes it hard to keep up in the class when I am sick.
If any of your classes offer a Zoom link, try to use it only when you really need it. Although it can be nice to just roll out of bed and log onto Zoom, most of us spent all last year wishing to be on campus for classes. We are finally able to do that again, and we should all take advantage of that opportunity.
Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.