Campus or Computer? — Revisited

By: BRYAN ROMBOT | Staff Writer


In the fall semester, Seawanhaka staff reported the sentiments of LIU students on whether they prefer in-person or online learning. As we drew nearer to the end of the school year, our staff revisited this topic with fresh eyes. To read our previous entry, see here.


During the spring semester, LIU’s halls and gathering spots echoed softly as they did in the fall, with the Kumble Theater and other venues on campus remaining relatively empty.


Classes have either been fully online, in-person, or mixed, and as the campus hasn’t seen as many students as in pre-COVID times, still the debate lingers: Which is best? In-person learning or online learning?


Last semester, four students shared their thoughts regarding this matter, and this past semester, six more shared their beliefs. Like their peers before them, these students answered the following questions:


  1. How are you handling your return to campus?

  2. How did you handle online courses during the lockdown?

  3. Do you prefer in-person or online courses? Why?


As the spring semester came to an end, LIU students from Greenvale to Brooklyn were asked these questions and here’s what they had to say:


Juan Velasquez

Juan Velasquez (Photo: Bryan Rombot)

Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: I’m a transfer student here, so this is my first semester here. Honestly, it’s a little different than what I’m used to — not seeing so many people around campus. I’ve been practicing my social distancing guidelines, as enforced by state laws and institution rules, and making sure I’m wearing my mask, sanitizing at all times, and following the guidelines.


Q: How did you handle online courses during the lockdown?

A: Most of [my classes] went strictly on Zoom, this was when everyone was just starting to test out the Zoom learning experience. It was interesting and very out of my comfort zone because I’ve never done remote learning. It was also really difficult to communicate with professors and just be able to learn because it’s very distracting, especially when you’re at home.


Q: Do you prefer in-person or online courses?

A: I’d rather be in-person. I feel like I learn better in person and I feel like it’s necessary to just have a little bit of human interaction. Of course, be safe, keep your distance, and follow all of the guidelines.


Maryan Tariq and Sanya Saleem

Maryan Tariq (left) and Sanya Saleem (right) (Photo: Bryan Rombot)

Maryan Tariq


Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: It’s fine. The largest class I have would be my Political Science class with maybe ten people in it. Because there are so many small [classes], almost all of them moved online. It’s kind of disappointing because I was looking forward to coming to campus, but since almost all of my classes are online, I was forced to stay online. I’m only able to come to campus for that class but because [the rest are] online, I don’t get that experience that I wanted when I applied for colleges. It’s not what I expected.


Q: How did you handle online courses during the lockdown?

A: I don’t think I really handled them well because I felt like it was more optional than mandatory. I would wake up late, I would do everything last minute, and even when I did it last minute, it would be marked as late.


Q: Do you prefer in-person or online courses? Why?

A: In-person, because you have that hands-on experience, and I like that kind of learning better because it’s right in front of you whereas online, you have the option to turn off your camera and mute yourself. No one’s watching you like they would be in person.


Sanya Saleem


Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: It’s been okay. Class sizes and everything are underwhelming; it’s like it was last semester.


Q: How did you handle online courses during the lockdown?

A: I was a freshman at John Jay last semester, and it was the same as it is now. It was optional rather than mandatory, and I just felt that I didn’t have to go or try as hard because I wasn’t on campus.


Q: Do you prefer in-person or online courses? Why?

A: In-person, because I’m a visual learner and staring at a computer for so long is not it for me. I have to be [in the classroom], and I have to do the work by hand.


Rivka Gutwein

Rivka Gutwein (Photo: Bryan Rombot)

Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: It’s a little difficult since I’m commuting, but I feel like I learn a lot better in person.


Q: How did you handle online courses during the lockdown?

A: It was hard, I’m more of an in-person learner so I found that I was distracted when I was on Zoom. My work right now is a lot better than it was when I was online.


Q; Do you prefer in-person or online courses? Why?

A: I prefer in-person. There’s less distractions and you see the instructor a lot clearer. You’re also able to ask more questions so I feel like the material is being passed onto me a lot better than if it’s over the internet.


Dawn Lugl

Dawn Lugl (Photo: Bryan Rombot)

Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: It’s going well. It’s the same thing for me as it was last semester. Not too many people came back [this semester].


Q: How did you handle your online courses during the lockdown?

A: Last year, I was in high school so when we went online, it was kind of crazy adjusting. It was hard because you were taken out of in-person [classes] and then you have to adjust, and it’s a lot more work because teachers are now assigning work constantly.


Q: Do you prefer in-person or online learning? Why?

A: I prefer in-person because [of] the way I learn. I’d rather be with the teacher and actually ask them questions live. Online, it’s harder to concentrate since you’re at home but in person, you have to focus and I like [that I get to] see people. I think I obtain more information like that.


Melissa Richards

Melissa Richards (Photo: Bryan Rombot)

Q: How are you handling your return to campus?

A: It’s stressful. I like the campus, the school, and I like the professors so far. I feel welcome, at least by the faculty. Everybody’s so far apart, that I’m finding it harder to seek connections with people. I’ve noticed that people are just really cold and standoffish. I don’t think that’s a good idea, especially in the nursing program because [if] you speak to the nurses in the nursing program they have groups and I find it hard to even find a group [of my own] right now.


Q: How did you handle your online activities during the lockdown?

A: I understand the convenience of being home. I’m a mom as well, so I was able to attend to my son and study at the same time. I’m not moving, I’m just in one place without any fresh air. When I come to school, I have to get on the train and I force myself to walk an hour per day when I come to school. I like to exercise, walk, and run. I’m an active person, but because of COVID and school, I couldn’t do it [as much].


Q: Do you prefer in-person or online learning?

A: In-Person because I’m in the nursing program. I need to see my professors and they need to see me. I need to speak to them and they need to speak to me. I do better with personal connections [now]. When you’re on a screen with someone, [it] doesn’t do well. When it comes to techniques in the nursing program, you need to be there.



Past the one-year mark of COVID-19 in the U.S., LIU campus life has remained predominantly bleak and empty. With classes having been mostly online, many students have been denied the traditional professor-student bond, accessibility to help them understand the material, and the chance to have a genuine college experience. Looking to the future, it is clear that after more than a year of online learning mixed with in-person classes, these LIU students are ready to continue their learning in the classroom in the fall.

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All