AS THE University entered its second month of online classes, Thomasians raised concerns on the “enriched virtual mode” of learning amid calls for an “academic freeze” on social media platforms.

Christian Dela Cruz, a student from the College of Architecture, said online classes were more stressful than face-to-face classes as he had to deal with technical issues like unstable internet connection and power interruptions, as well as distractions at home.

“After our class, instead of doing my requirements at night, I tend to sleep due to the exhaustion. Online classes require a lot of sitting and long exposure to the computer’s radiation which are not healthy for our body,” Dela Cruz told the Varsitarian.

However, the architecture student commended his professors for being well-prepared and knowledgeable in the new set-up of learning.

Mica Sese, a third-year medical technology student, said online laboratory courses were not as conducive to learning as face-to-face classes.

“As a third-year medical technology student whose classes are supposed to be skills-based and must be performed in the laboratory, I do not think that our skills will be honed enough in online classes compared to being able to experience it in the actual setup,” she told the Varsitarian.

Oliver Sto. Domingo, a biology student, said it was a challenge to acquire skills in online lab classes.

“Ang hirap na may mga laboratory subjects kami na ginawang online so instead na maranasan namin siya, mga virtual simulations, interactive simulations na lang pinapagamit,” he told the Varsitarian.

“[S]obrang layo niya sa reality kung paano gumamit ng lab equipment […] syempre sobrang crucial iyon for someone na nangangarap mag-medicine, wala akong applications na ma-absorb ngayong semester kasi online,” he added.

Phoebe Baula, a student from the College of Fine Arts and Design, said that aside from feeling drained, she also thought a lot about students who were “left behind.”

“Not everyone has the same facilities that will enable them to execute their plates to their full potential […] This set-up wouldn’t be a problem if you are privileged,” she told the Varsitarian.

‘Extend compassion’

Central Student Council President Robert Dominic Gonzales called on professors and students to “extend compassion” after several videos allegedly involving UST students and professors circulated online.

In two separate videos, professors were seen berating students with internet connection problems.

Gonzales said the council would assist students in filing complaints.

He also reminded students to be “prudent” in sharing videos of online classes.

On May 26, the Rector announced that UST would shift to an “Enriched Virtual Mode” of learning for the first term of Academic Year 2020-2021, where online and offline remote learning strategies will be utilized by faculty members amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The term is set to end on Dec. 18, 2020.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.