Many students around the country have made adjustments and have worked to create a way to communicate without working face to face, yet some still struggle with this.
Some students have even taken a year off to cope with the pandemic while others struggle to push forward in their studies despite the lack of face to face communication between students and professors.
That’s why one student started a Zoom study group.
Haley Elliott, an English major, created a study group for her and her classmates in Professor Tersh Palmer’s American Novel class.
“In my other classes, I’ve always done a study group,” Elliott said. “It was easier when we were in person because when we were in the classroom, we could use the whiteboard, the blackboard, and the desks. I find that most of my revelations and a lot of my basic understanding comes from talking with other people, and a lot of that has been missing with online conversations. That was my plan with this study group, to help each other out with papers and exams, and to help each other out and bounce ideas off of each other.”
She said as an English major, her classes are reading heavy, which is when she needs the study groups the most, adding that she finds the more Zoom meetings she has for the class, the better she does.
“I’ve had some professors and I’ve had some classes where we haven’t had any Zoom or synchronistic meetings at all, and I find that I really struggle in those classes, so I need the real time conversation to help me learn and digest the materials,” Elliott said. “I definitely think that I’ve been at a bit of a loss with the pandemic and everything having to be online because I’m losing a lot of that in-person discussion time, where I can really think through and really think about what I’m thinking and come to conclusions about it.”
Although this will be my first study group experience using Zoom, Elliott said she has used Zoom for work with Upward Bound and classes and “feel pretty confident on the technology side of it.”
“I’m just hoping and picturing like it was in person and people just come when they can or when they need to and just discuss and talk to people about what they’re thinking about, what they’re confused about, and what their thoughts are in general and what we’re reading and just a place for open discussion,” she said.
Palmer said he is impressed at Elliott’s drive. He said he tries to encourage that type of discussion in class too, but said “I know some people are shy.”
“I find that in Zoom, the breakout groups do help with that,” he said.
But Palmer is hopeful the online study groups can be a thing of the past next semester, when plans are to return to all in-person classes.
“I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to being back in class with everybody. I’ve already gotten my first shot. I’m hoping we don’t run into any more spikes,” he said.