Positives of Module 1

Spring semester takeaways

Spring semester has certainly been a change for all Allegheny College students and staff. As students settled into their module two courses in relief to be back to in-person learning, I found that I did not share the same powerful relief my peers did because I had an amazing experience with my remote module one course.

During that period of time, I took Communication and Democratic Life with Professor Courtney Bailey. The class focused mainly on the role rhetoric plays in politics and in our everyday lives. The topic of the class made it easier for students to become interested quickly because it was highlighting aspects of life we had never thought about before. I had always been interested in how many ways to communicate exist and the class allowed me to explore that. 

 The class ultimately restored my faith in remote learning as a whole because it was different than any other class I had taken. I am aware that my positive encounter with online learning was not shared by many of my peers, but I also discovered the uncovered potential remote learning has.  

My professor deemed a three-hour course every day to be an excessive amount of time to be in class, so they cut it down to a little over an hour and decided to instead assign readings, movies and videos, and to have us reflect and respond every day.

The class structure allowed me to better succeed because I had time to absorb the material and had many opportunities to process it. I could also enjoy the material more because I was not stressed about having to memorize the contents and instead focused on thinking about what I could take away from the discussions and readings. 

 The reflection process took my learning to a new level because I was retaining the course material better than I would have if the class was three hours and, as a result, felt more comfortable with participating in class discussions. It became apparent that I was not the only one in the class who was benefiting from the class structure. Each class was lively with participation and it was almost impossible for the professor to get to everyone. Throughout the experience, I was reminded that remote learning can be just as valuable as in-person learning when everyone does their part. 

It is a common idea that teachers and professors are responsible for making sure a class is productive and enjoyable. However, after reflecting on my module one course, I have come to realize that students hold half the power to make the classroom a place where they can learn from each other.  My experience with remote learning taught me that a class does not have to be in person for it to be worthwhile.

Coming back to campus, I felt refreshed by my experience with my module one class and I began to appreciate the flexibility of hybrid classes more. 

For the first week of classes, I was experiencing high amounts of physical pain so I could not attend my classes in person. However, I was still able to participate and get what I needed out of the lesson which made me truly appreciate the flexibility remote learning offers to students who are on campus as well as remote students. 

I no longer have to panic when outside circumstances interfere with my ability to attend classes in-person because I know I can still access my education through a video conference or a recording depending on the situation. 

With the opportunity to attend classes remotely, I have found that my learning experience has become more accommodating to the flow of life. While there are many things I can control, life happens without consideration of the class I need to attend, so recorded lessons and the ability to attend through any device allows students from all circumstances to still get an education. 

Because I am only taking three classes on campus after finishing my module one course remotely, I have also had the chance to work on my personal development. While I could do that taking more classes, three classes has really pushed me to be more productive and make the most of the time I have. With my time, I have worked on getting rid of old habits, reading more, studying and writing. Important parts of life such as self-care were never really a big part of my life, but with all the time I have, I have become a more responsible person when it comes to taking care of my emotional and physical well-being. 

The spring semester offered me a lot of insight on what it means to be a part of a remote learning community as well as showing me the potential online learning has to change the number of people that are able to access an education. Along with the opportunity to experience a new way of learning, the spring semester has fostered my personal and academic growth.