By Shelley Rathie (2021-09-29)

Dani Dapula, is an HR Major in the BBA program who will graduate this December.  She has attended classes both in-person and through remote delivery and I reached out to her to get a sense of what she, and vicariously what other students, might be feeling now that she/they are back on campus.  Dani’s thoughts surprised me and I now share them with you. Here are Dani’s reflections: 

“Now, we are back on campus. And I feel the same way I did the first time they told me we have to go virtual, which is, I have no control.  As I sat in class on that first day back, surprisingly I had no desire to be physically surrounded by others.  I had thought I would be excited to be with others when I anticipated the return, but I wasn’t.  For the most part, it was hard to hear what my classmates were saying behind their masks, and furthermore, being in that class confirmed that in-person classes are no longer an essential part of my learning needs. 

I understand some students and professors prefer in-person learning. However, there are students like me who benefit from virtual classes. So, when MRU announced they were opening their doors for the Fall semester, I was happy for those who needed to be back on campus. However, I was disappointed with the limited number of virtual classes offered. Once again, I felt I had no control or choice on how I wanted to learn. 

Online learning has made me accountable for my education, and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone to reach out to my colleagues outside the virtual classroom to build relationships. In fact, during this pandemic, I was able to take on more activities such as actively volunteering for a couple of committees, work at my first corporate job, and still go to school. Over time, professors did well in finding creative ways to deliver the course material. 

I believe students should have equal choices between virtual or in-person delivery. If MRU is preparing the Bissett School of Business students to work in the workplace, shouldn’t our learning environment reflect what the workplace looks like now or what it could be? There is still a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unknown. But what is known is that the workplace is changing, and people want to have choice and flexibility.”