With Return to Campus Life, Students and Faculty Weigh the Benefits of In-Person Instruction


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The Fall 2022 semester has marked a return to courses conducted in-person at Diablo Valley College after nearly two years of classes being held online. Now, with the loosening of masking mandates on campus and classrooms filling up, college life appears to be getting back to normal.

But as students and faculty make the shift from online, distanced learning back to in-person instruction, the reception has been mixed – with people weighing the benefits, and costs, of both forms of learning. “I think it’s more of a change because I was able to do everything online,” said Liberty Her, a freshman at DVC.

With distanced learning, “resources were more accessible. But now, I think it’s better for me because I can ask questions in person, rather than wait for an email response.”

Hayliey Orr, another freshman, agreed that in-person classes seem to work better than online classes.

“It definitely helped to improve my mental health,” Orr said. “I found also, during the summer and online school, it was hard to keep a steady sleep schedule, but with in-person classes, just having someplace to go every day, even if it’s just a few hours, is really useful.”

Many agree that online education helps with students’ busy schedules, but that in-person classes are where the real learning occurs. At the same time, instructors are glad to be back in the classroom as students populate the campus.

“I’m really excited to see the students and see them interact with one another,” said Matthew Powell, a history professor at DVC. “It really helped my mood and it just makes me happy.”

Powell added, “I’d rather teach more of my classes in-person and fewer online. But I do like teaching online for the same reason [as] some students: it’s convenient and you can organize your schedule a little bit differently. I like both [methods of instruction] for different reasons.”

Still, Powell said, “If I had to choose, definitely in-person, absolutely one hundred percent.”