Back to normal

Distance learning is about to look like it did pre-COVID

The Provost advises deans, chairs and academic advisers to steer underclassmen from distance learning courses.

Provost Daniel Ennis said Coastal Carolina University data suggested that students in 100 and 200 level distance learning courses received an F, a D, or withdrew from the class at a higher rate than usual. Ennis said this harmed students’ GPAs and put them on academic probation. He said most students in these courses were residential and not enrolled in an online program or living abroad.

“There didn’t seem much reason why they were taking distance learning classes because we are not in a pandemic. They’re here,” Ennis said.

According to the CCU report, of the 3,471 students that took online courses 20.4% received a F, D, or W for the course, compared to the 16.9% of students who received a F, D, or W in the same courses but in-person.

The Provost’s directive stated there is no official hold on freshmen and sophomores from taking distance courses, but there is a limited number of seats. Only 15% of the total seats can be distance learning next semester, which is back to pre-COVID-19 levels. Ennis said students with accommodations can still request online courses.

Ana Marie Lavado, an adviser in Edwards College of Humanities and Fine arts, said these requests will be handled on a case by case basis by advisers and department chairs.

Students have mixed reviews on distance learning.

Isabella Spinazze, a sophomore marketing major, said she liked distance classes and would recommend a mix of distance and in-class learning for freshmen and sophomores.

“You can just plan your schedule a little more easily and do things on your own time,” Spinazze said.

Colton Kingston, a junior Communication major, said he prefers in person courses because of the face to face contact he has with other students and the professor. He said he only would recommend online classes to underclassmen who know that the coursework will be manageable.

“They’ll give more work because you’re not sitting in a lecture,” Kingston said. “That’s what I went through my freshman year.”