COVID Classes

Students take notes Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 while social distancing in MC 2010 class in West Hall.

For better or for worse, most LSU students are no longer attending classes from the comfort of their homes.

While some are glad to be back to in-person classes, others grew accustomed to hybrid courses and watching lectures on their own time and now even prefer them.

Most classes on LSU's campus have returned to in-person learning, with students wearing masks and installing HEPA filters.

For some students or faculty, this is not enough to comfortably return to campus. Some still prefer the convenience of remote learning. Others, like communications professor Ginger Guttner, enjoy being back face to face.

"I think if it's a class that's lecture based, going hybrid is probably not going to be a problem," Guttner said. "I'm someone who likes to run around campus, so I feel bad for the people on zoom. And my personal teaching style just does not work over zoom. All that being said, if someone is more comfortable doing it completely hybrid, I am completely fine with that."

Some professors that have larger class sizes have creatively adapted how they operate their classes.

Business professor Douglas Weimer has a class with 100 students in it. Half of his students come to class in person Tuesday, and the other half attend in person on Thursday. On the days the students do not have his class in person, they attend online via zoom.

Online learning is not an option for some classes, as some professors have found that it allows students to take advantage of the attendance policies. For example, communications professor Lyman Hunt no longer allows his students to attend class via zoom unless the excuse is COVID-related.

"I found streaming/recording lectures to be an attendance killer," Hunt said. "Once folks realized that everything was available online, class attendance dropped to about 25% of the roster."

Weimer said in-person attendance often depends on the class size.

"In smaller classes, my experience is that more students attend in-person class versus attending with Zoom, even when they can pick the option," Weimer said. "In the larger classes, the numbers are about equal when they get to pick."

Pre-recorded lectures may be around for good, even with the return to in-person learning. Many professors who don't make attendance mandatory are still uploading their class recordings to Moodle, a relatively rare practice prior to the pandemic.

Regardless, many students are glad to be back on campus and go to class in person regardless of the option to attend remotely or watch lectures on their own time.

Only one of the sophomore David Wadle's five classes make class attendance mandatory. It's also his only online class.

Wadle, like most students, said that he prefers in-person classes because it forces him to be more engaged in the class and helps him focus. No longer surrounded by distractions in his room and without the ability to turn his camera off, Wadle is glad to get the traditional college experience finally.

"Having now seen both LSU online and LSU in person, I can say without a doubt that I am thankful to finally be getting the full, in-person, college experience," Wadle said.

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