Students return to in-person learning with mixed feelings

By Miranda McGregor

Students returning to Red River College are weighing the pros and cons of in-person learning.

The social aspect of in-person learning is a major factor in students’ preferences for returning, said Veronika Ring, a Medical Radiologic Technology student at the Notre Dame Campus.

Comfortability and safety are Ring’s biggest priorities right now.

“I would say as long as everyone is wearing a mask, I think I wouldn’t have an issue (being in-person),” Ring said. “I think with the class sizes it’s a manageable amount that you should feel relatively comfortable.” 

Some science-based programs are having students on campus up to three times a week. These classes range anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. 

Kaitlyn Cochrane, a Diagnostic Medical Sonography student at the Notre Dame Campus lives 40 minutes from campus by car and said she has had to drive to campus to demonstrate handwashing procedures for only 10 minutes.

“A lot of people in my program have said they wished the classes were in-person. (There are) a lot of logistical issues for some of us because our online classes end at noon and then our labs start at 1 p.m.,” Cochrane said.

Campus security scans a vaccination card at the Exchange District Campus. Photo by Miranda McGregor

When arriving on either campus, students must present their vaccination QR code along with a piece of ID. Vaccination door checks are fast and easy with no lineups, Ring and Cochrane said.

“A lot of people are showing up at the same time, but I don’t even think I’ve even seen someone in the same hallway when I’m getting my vaccination QR code checked out. It’s been very efficient,” Ring said.

Red River College students and faculty members have been learning and teaching online since March 2020.

Now with 80.7% of eligible Manitobans having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Oct. 1, the college is tentatively opening its doors.

The Workshop, computer lab, and library are open at the Notre Dame Campus, as well as the Learning Commons at the Exchange District Campus. These spaces are open for studying and online education delivery only.