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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Senior English major talks pros and cons of remote learning

Garima Thapa
Senior Lauren Vuytecki speaks during her first in-person class on April 24. Vuytecki’s English course is called Technologies of the Book.

Currently finishing a degree in English, senior Lauren Vuytecki’s academic experience had so far been limited to an online education before her final semester at Wichita State.

“I only came to campus very rarely to meet with a professor or some other random occurrence, but really, I was hardly ever on campus,” Vuytecki said. “So I really couldn’t say I had any involvement in campus life or anything like that.”

After starting at Wichita State in 2021, Vuytecki elected to pursue an English major with a minor in psychology. When she took a full time position at KSN-TV, Vuytecki found herself taking all online courses to be able to balance work and school. 

Vuytecki said a remote learning student needs to be self-motivated and independent to stay on top of class work. While this was not a problem for her, she said some aspects of a physical class cannot be replicated remotely.

“It doesn’t matter how many discussion boards you have,” Vuytecki said. “There’s no faces to names, and there’s no real connection that you can achieve. Discussions you have in a classroom are always going to be more organic than anything you can produce in a discussion board.”

Being on campus this semester has given Vuytecki the opportunity to experience the social aspects of campus that remote students rarely access.

“I’ve been able to actually interact with my professor in a meaningful manner that’s not just emails as well as just appreciate the campus and actually want to go and look at the Rhatigan Student Center,” Vuytecki said. 

Because remote learning was not a choice for Vuytecki due to her work schedule, she said Wichita State should look into expanding remote options for students like her who need it. 

Vuytecki said the online education experience at WSU could be improved in a more complete transition to Blackboard Ultra because it is more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. According to Vuytecki, some professors have chosen to use the new version while others still operate on the old. 

“One of the downsides of online classes is the limited selection at times,” Vuytecki said. “There were quite a few in-person classes that I would have loved to have done, but I couldn’t.”

Jacquelyn Johnston, director of online and adult learning, said that online learning opportunities have been growing since 2014. Now, Wichita State students can find online classes in a wide variety of subjects. 

“It just allows students additional opportunities, no matter where they are physically, or sometimes even mentally and emotionally, to be able to continue their coursework,” Johnston said.

Without the physical reminder of sitting in class for test dates and assignment deadlines, both Vuytecki and Johnston agree that online learning requires a student to be self-motivated and independent to be successful.

“But the truth is that a lot of times, it’s more work because you’re not physically going to class. And especially because of the personal accountability that it takes to get the work done,” Johnston said. 

Moving forward, Vuytecki plans to continue her job at KSN-TV before applying to a graduate program with hopes of working as an editor. 

Now that she has experienced both online and in-person learning, she said she hopes she can experience the best of both in future education.

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About the Contributors
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.
Garima Thapa
Garima Thapa, Photographer
Garima Thapa is a second-year photographer for The Sunflower.

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