Online enrollment surges: Virus leads to changes in learning

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Tomiwa Akintode

Staff Writer

Safety concerns have been a major worry for many students due to the pandemic, and some are quelling concerns by enrolling in online-only classes.

Online enrollment has increased nearly 17% due to the pandemic, according to Troy University Relations, with 5,331 students currently enrolled online. 

The number last year was about 1,280. 

Total enrollment for the current semester is 15,178, according to the university, however that number, as well as fall online enrollment, should increase as students register for Term 2 in late October.

But even students still on campus are participating online in new ways as the school has modified learning experiences to allow for social distancing.

The university has adapted to using “pod systems,” where classes are divided into sections to attend class on different days of the week.

For instance, a class that had been scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday might meet with half the class on Monday, half on Wednesday, and have a virtual lesson or supplemental work on Friday. 

“One thing I like about the pod system is that it helps to limit the number of students in the class, thus reducing the chances of the virus been spread,” said Fundu-Diyefa Jones-Wonni, a senior psychology major from Abuja, Nigeria. 

“The cons of the system are that, for the teachers, it means teaching the materials twice, and students might not be getting enough information.”

For other students, it has been a bit of a struggle. 

“It’s OK, but one of my professors puts different information on their syllabus and then emails about a different schedule,” said Aurora Rigdon, a junior accounting major from Enterprise, Alabama. 

“It just gets unorganized, and it’s frustrating because they expect you to be on top of everything, and this is a learning curve for everyone.”

Some students appreciate the convenience of being at home, but disagree with on-campus fees.

“Honestly, it’s kind of annoying,” said Lauren Tomlinson, a sophomore political science major from Port St. Joe, Florida. 

“I paid full price to park on campus, only to be on campus less than half the time I would be if I had my classes every day.

“It’s nice to be at home doing my courses, but it’s kind of irritating that you still have to pay the $100 to be able to park on campus.”

Students, faculty and staff on campus must wear masks and social distance as part of Troy’s COVID-19 policy. 

For more information on the school’s policies and precautions, visit troy.edu/coronavirus.

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