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In-person versus online courses: Students discuss their preferences

Students discuss their opinions on in-person and online courses. – Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

Rutgers students spoke about the University’s offering of in-person and online courses this semester.

Joe Colantuono, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, said he prefers in-person classes as he can form a stronger connection with instructors and learn better.

“Being in-person with the teacher, I feel like I can learn the subject better,” he said. “It's just a personal thing. I feel like I get the subject better if I'm actually in-person.”

Additionally, Colantuono said that in virtual instruction, students usually have to teach themselves class material, making the course load heavier.

Ethan Tran, a Mason Gross School of the Arts first-year student, said all but one of his courses are in person this semester and he appreciates an in-person class format more.

He said in-person classes are more conducive to interacting with his professors and his classmates, and despite all his courses being somewhat challenging to manage, he has been able to do so.

“I wish my online class that I have right now would have the chance to do it in person because the professor seems like a really cool guy,” he said.

While he would want a large part of his classes to be in person, he said he would be fine with some elective courses being online.

Matthew Auker, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, said he would prefer a mixed schedule of online and in-person classes to avoid having to spend extra time commuting to in-person classrooms.

He said his preferred format for classes is dependent on the subject he is learning — he likes having science-based classes in person and liberal arts requirement classes online.

“I think it’s (because) I care about the science courses so much more than the English courses, so I’d rather go and be around people,” Auker said.

Edmund Jung, a first-year Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy student, said he prefers online classes to in-person courses because the latter requires him to be there physically, which can be difficult.

Still, he said he would still like to take in-person classes so he can interact with people. Jung said he has had some challenges with balancing coursework during his first year at the University.

He said he would appreciate the University offering more online course accommodations — a sentiment that Auker and Colantuono agreed with.

“I feel like it's a good idea. Personally, it's not something that I would need. I personally prefer in-person stuff, but I do think it's a good idea for them to offer,” Colantuono said.

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