Educational Sciences student Marilyn Bongers lives with her mother and sister in Poortugaal, so she appreciates the time saved not having to commute to the campus. She often works at the kitchen table, accompanied by the dog. “Sometimes I try working in my room, but I associate that space with sleeping. I end up falling asleep on my textbooks after a tutorial, so I usually sit at the table to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Zay probeert de huiskat van het toetsenbord te houden.
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

Zeynep Sadun, a master student in Clinical Psychology, says she has had enough of online education. “I can’t focus properly and I miss the energy you feel when you attend a tutorial in person. Now I always quickly tidy up my room before the Zoom session starts, even though I’m a really messy person by nature. I know no one is going to judge me, but still…I much prefer just being able to leave the place messy because my class is on campus.”

Pauline luistert de podcast van haar vak Infrastructures of Power.
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

Some lecturers use another approach when it comes to hybrid education, and that’s the case with sociology master student Pauline Wiersema. Her lecturer, Jess Bier, gives her lectures in the form of a podcast. “Ridiculously good quality, too”, declares Pauline. “I usually listen to the lectures when I take a walk or when I’m sitting on the couch. That’s not convenient for taking notes, so I simply listen to the podcast a second time.”

Dore kijkt haar college terug op haar werk.
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

Philosophy student Dore Visser attends her online lectures both from home and from a coffee shop where she often stays once her shift is over. “All the background noise isn’t a problem for me. The fact that the coffee here is better than what I have at home, and being able to chat with my colleagues during their breaks makes it an easy choice to stay here”, she says with a laugh.

Offline, online or hybrid? The future of education is very uncertain due to the corona crisis. Will everything change, or will everything return to normal? In this theme week, EM looks from all sides at what corona education has meant for students and teachers, how it can be improved and what we need to get rid of as soon as possible.

Alex vindt het eigenlijk niet erg om vanuit huis college te volgen.
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

The fact that most of his programme is online poses few problems for first-year IBA student Alex Legrand. Basically, there are fewer distractions at home and that makes things easier, he says. “Right now, I’m taking an accounting course that has one tutorial on Friday that I have to attend in person. The lectures and assignments for independent learning are all online, and I can concentrate better than when I’m with my friends. I like spending time with them, but I guess you could say I enjoy it just a little too much.”

Sunny verkiest voor online onderwijs haar bed boven haar bureau.
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

After being stopped in her tracks by a Covid infection the first time around, Bulgarian student Sunny Stanulova is repeating her first year in Psychology. She prefers to attend her online tutorials from her bed, because her desk is in a poorly lit part of the room. The huge teddy bear on her bed is a gift she received from her sister when she came to visit. “I don’t have anywhere else to put it and it makes for a surprisingly good pillow.”

Thuisstudie – Wouter Sterrenburg (7 of 8)
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

Does he need the wine because the tutorial is so dull? No, that’s not it, says history student Noah Dekker with a laugh. “I had a few people over yesterday evening before going to a party at the home of some friends.” On the other hand, the Zoom sessions could use a shot in the arm. “Take online presentations, for example: four people in a group, two of them give the presentation. Wouldn’t that bore you to tears?”

Thuisstudie – Wouter Sterrenburg (8 of 8)
Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

“I’m done with it”, says Doran Van Nifterick with a sigh. As a precaution, her Arts & Culture programme has been fully online for a few weeks now. After one and a half years, she’s tired of online education, and she often spends her time during lectures doodling in her notepad. “I’m really glad I chose a double degree because all the classes at the art academy are at the school. To cut a long story short: being physically present at classes is just much better for my mental wellbeing.”

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