Students who were sent home to learn remotely during lockdown may no longer feel the same need to turn up for physical classes on the campus, Klaas van Veen, vice-dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS), told the UKrant. Van Veen believes the switch to online lessons had negatively affected some students’ perceptions of the need to be in school and could be contributing to high absence rates. “That’s what students are telling us. They say it makes it easier to combine classes, or they stay home because the weather is particularly nice or bad,” he says.
In a move that RUG administrators believe will boost class attendance, classes taught at the law and BSS faculties will no longer be live streamed online, however recordings will continue to be available after the session with certain caveats. “We won’t make them continuously available: only in the week the lecture is taking place and a week before the exam,” Wilbert Kolkman, dean of the Faculty of Law says.
By attending class, students are gaining much more than a mark; they get more fulfilling experiences, both socially and academically. Now that in-person classes have returned, students should sit in a classroom and interact with their peers and instructors to make up for the time they spent watching lectures alone, behind a screen, vice-dean Van Veen believes. “I think this will benefit the quality of education,” he says. “It’s better, improves interaction between students, and it’s just more fun.”
After being deprived of the opportunity to speak with new people for months in a normal university social setting, class attendance can provide students with a push in the right direction to creating a much-needed sense of community, Jana Knot-Dickscheit, associate professor at BSS, hopes. “Live streams really only help if someone’s actually sick,” she says. “I’ve noticed that the live streams make it extremely easy for people to stay home.”
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