Online or in-person: different formats offer GV students flexibility


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Hanna Halstead, Staff Writer

As the fall semester begins at Grand Valley State University, many students and professors alike welcome the return to in-person classes, despite COVID-19 requirements, including a mask mandate and contact tracing.

80% of classes in the fall 2021 semester were offered in a face-to-face format, with a few online or hybrid formats available, according to the Lakers Together website.

Online classes offer flexibility for students’ schedules as well as their comfort level with COVID-19. There are students that are taking online classes because there were no in-person options available, Dustin Denckaert.

I decided to take one class online because there were no in-person offerings at times that worked for me,” Danckaert said. “Even then, they were hybrid courses.”

When asked if COVID-19 impacted his decision to schedule online or in-person classes, Danckaert said that it wasn’t really something that influenced his decision, as he missed having classes in person. Danckaert said he felt that he wasn’t “getting the full education” he would have in a traditional class, due to the lack of peer interaction and detached learning structure.

Students who have returned to classes in-person full-time, like GVSU student Allison Klimedk, have expressed a sense of relief and joy to have classes return to somewhat normal.

“I‘ve had all online classes since March 2020, and have been eager to return to the classroom, “ said Klimek. “The classes I needed to take were in person, and it let me finally get back into the classroom.”  

When asked about how in-person classes compared to last year’s online classes, Klimek said she’s gotten to actually meet new people and that she’s interacted with her classmates more this week than all of last year.

Klimek said she was concerned about COVID-19, but felt more comfortable signing up for in-person classes once vaccines became widely available. Klimek said GVSU’s vaccine mandate was another layer of security against the virus to help keep the university running smoothly.

GVSU continues to encourage and mandate vaccination by Sept. 30.