(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)
UNBC and the College of New Caledonia (CNC) are gearing up for the return to on-campus learning this fall.
Yesterday (Monday), Dr. Bonnie Henry advised the presidents of all public colleges and universities to prepare for a full return to on-campus education by September.
Acting UNBC President, Dr. Geoff Payne says the excitement is already building.
“People are excited. They are nervous but they are excited for the opportunity at getting back to some sense of normalcy.”
“I know people are excited about the chance to return to campus, have that buzz back, and attending classes in-person and I know some people are anxious by that communication as well.”
CNC President Dr. Dennis Johnson (Photo supplied by Brendan Pawliw, MyPGNow.com)“It’s not a one-size-fits-all. I would agree that the general idea that a lot of what is done face-to-face is hard to duplicate and create the same experience for the students by doing it online.”
“For a lot of students, the face-to-face, the on-campus learning experience is very much a part of the whole overall experience and many are missing it. There is a smaller portion that has actually benefited from the increased number of calls that are available online.”
Both schools agree this is also a chance to learn from the faculty who were delivering courses online and how that can be implemented going forward.
“I think this will be an opportunity to learn from the faculty who were delivering online that made that quick transition and take some of the lessons learned of the best of face to face and online to inform how we can construct the learning experience going forward,” said Johnson.
“Face to face and a lot of the courses we deliver here at UNBC really do rely on that experiential opportunity, so trying to do that in an online environment doesn’t always translate well but the faculty has done well in sort of ensuring that is successful for the students,” offered Payne.
In addition, Payne mentioned the COVID-fatigue people are facing centres around the increased online interactions they’ve had to make.
“People are tired living off the Zoom world and they (students and faculty) are looking forward to more face-to-face.
Payne is hopeful by mid-summer that everyone is eligible to be vaccinated, making a return to campus more likely.