NDB students’ experience with Hybrid: On campus

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The Catalyst / Robert Rojas

NDB’s gold cohort participates in hybrid learning on campus.

NDB has recently opened up its campus for students to come back in a hybrid model. The hybrid model is a newly implemented system where students are divided into two cohorts, blue or gold, and alternate on which days they attend school; one cohort will be on-campus while the other cohort will attend on Zoom. The schedule for the hybrid model is set up so that the different cohorts go on different days; the blue cohort attends Monday and Tuesday while the gold cohort goes on Thursday and Friday with Wednesday remaining as Tiger Day. Students may have some positive or negative experiences while they are adjusting to this new learning system.

The Catalyst interviewed sophomores Lauren Fitzgerald, Clarissa Wing, and Megan Cabral to learn about their perspective on the return to campus and why they choose to participate in the hybrid model.

The Catalyst (TC): Why did you choose to go back on campus?
Lauren Fitzgerald (LF): I choose to go back to campus because being online has taken a toll on me physically and mentally. I needed a new environment, to move around, and to be in a space where I knew I could learn better.
TC: What is a positive experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
LF: I’ve honestly really enjoyed hybrid so far, there are a lot of positives to it. The biggest one for me is that I just learn better in school than at home. I feel more confident asking my teachers questions, I can focus and find motivation better, and because of the limited distractions I get way more done, limiting my homework load.
TC: What is a negative experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
LF: I think the main negative is that we can’t be back in person fully. The livelihood of NDB isn’t really there without everyone, it doesn’t have the same energy as it used to.
TC: Do you have any specific feedback?
LF: No.
TC: Would you consider switching to online learning?
LF: No, I am really glad to be back on campus safely and I can’t imagine not going back.

TC: Why did you choose to go back on campus?
Clarissa Wing (CW): I chose to go back on campus because I wanted to see all my friends and teachers in person. I felt that I would get more interaction on campus rather than on Zoom.
TC: What is a positive experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
CW: A positive experience I had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far has been having lunch. Music was playing on the loudspeaker, everyone was laughing with their friends, and the food we had all missed so much was back.
TC: What is a negative experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
CW: A negative experience during the Hybrid Model would be how cold it was in the classrooms. In every class, the windows were open and fans were blowing. I made sure to dress warmer the following day.
TC: Do you have any specific feedback?
CW: No specific feedback.
TC: Would you consider switching to online learning?
CW: At the moment, I do not plan on switching back to online learning as I had a great time on my first day back.

TC: Why did you choose to go back on campus?
Megan Cabral (MC): I choose to go back to campus because I missed being around all of my classmates, teachers, and having the Notre Dame spirit. Also, I feel when I am on campus I am more motivated and less distracted. Lastly, I missed the delicious food.
TC: What is a positive experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
MC: A positive experience of the NDB’s Hybrid Model is that asking and receiving help is remarkably easier and if I need to I am still given an option to be online.
TC: What is a negative experience you had with NDB’s Hybrid Model so far?
MC: One negative I have experience with NDB’s Hybrid Model is when the teachers are trying to teach both online and in-person, the online students tend to get more neglected and somewhat forgotten. Another negative experience is that I felt that I couldn’t socialize with my classmates as much. I understand the precautions we have to take due to Covid-19 (i.e. six feet apart), but it’s frustrating being on campus and forced to separate.
TC: Do you have any specific feedback?
MC: My feedback would be to organize the time in between classes because from my experience it was extremely random. Additionally, for B days, I believe that in between the 6th and 7th block we should have a 20-minute snack break, so people can eat and have a mental break instead of doing nearly 4 hours straight of classes.
TC: Would you consider switching to online learning?
MC: I don’t think I will switch back to online because being back at school gives me some sense of normality and I love being able to see everyone again and feeling connected.

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