By Kallandra Weatherbee
In-person classes are being anticipated for NAIT’s fall 2021/22 term, but some students aren’t sure if they want to go back.
Alexis Sieben, VP Internal for NAITSA, said there is a push from the Alberta Government for post-secondary campuses to go back to in person.
“The advanced minister of education wants the post-secondaries to plan to return to in-person. But are giving the post secondaries flexibility and letting them come back in the way they best see fit. Whether that is in person, virtual, or a blend, but NAIT hasn’t made a decision,” said Sieben.
NAIT hasn’t confirmed what the plan would be for the upcoming term, and Sieben said it has been challenging to plan around.
“I wish I did know because it would make planning for next year easier for us. We were planning for a virtual return in the fall and an in-person return in the winter, as was put out by NAIT previously. But we’re prepared either way,” said Sieben.
Sieben said it would be good for campus life to have students back in-person.
“I think campus life is better in person. We’ve worked hard to have everything similar in a virtual setting, but students are just burning out right now, and you can tell being on a computer all day is difficult on students,” said Sieben.
However, some students have preferred the online format. Brayden Shopland, a NAIT business administration student, said he wants options for online classes in the fall.
“It’s all I’m used to with going to NAIT is online courses. I’m just starting, and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s pretty nice. I work full time, so the nice thing with online is you can move them around and work them with your schedule. If I want to learn a course at seven in the morning or nine at night, that’s fine,” said Shopland.
Although Shopland said he enjoys online classes and would continue them, he said the online burnout is real.
“I’m very happy with online classes, but it got tough this term. This term, my course load is heavier. So the added course work, the eight hours a day on a computer is getting tough. It’s hard to sit there behind a computer screen,” said Shopland.
As more information is confirmed about the fall term, NAIT will be making statements.