Red River College’s transition to remote learning has proven challenging for course delivery and hands-on learners

By: Sydney Lockhart

Primary Care Paramedicine students

Some students are left with unanswered questions about the future of their programs after RRC moved to remote learning because of COVID-19.

Tyler Corbin, 19, is in the Automotive Technician Certificate program and said a lot of students aren’t getting important information due to lack of communication.

“We were supposed to be in an elective now. I wanted to be in advanced electrical, but it was cancelled,” said Corbin. “I would like to have something set in stone at this point.”

Corbin said he and his classmates are missing out on their engine unit, a difficult unit to learn without hands-on experience. 

“Doing is half of the learning,” he said.

The students were tasked to learn independently through watching videos and reading, in lieu of hands-on work.

Corbin said he doesn’t feel he’s getting the education he paid for. He’s concerned students going into the diploma program in the fall term will be behind.

“It was all a hasty fix to the problem,” said Corbin. “But, I think [the instructors] did the best they could with the time they had.”

The Primary Care Paramedicine program had just two weeks of classes left before their practicum when Shared Health Manitoba determined it unsafe to continue. Samantha Moore, a student in the program, said she’s unsure of when they will write their certification exam, which is typically at the end of August.

 “It’s a waiting game until it’s safe for us students to go out,” said the 23-year-old. She believes practicums may be postponed until September and says delays aside, her program has been running smoothly through online classes.

“Kudos to Red River,” she said. “I’ve been very impressed with the level of communication that students have been given.”

While some programs are running into issues, others, such as the 3D Computer Graphics course are running smoother.

The 3D Computer Graphics instructors use a software called Discord every morning for attendance. Then, students work individually for the rest of the day.

Photo credit: LUKE REMPEL

Lauren Sneesby, a graphics student, said that none of the students had the proper computers at home because RRC provides them with programmed and equipped computers on campus.

Almost immediately after the ‘Study Week’ was announced, the graphics faculty sent out the required equipment to the students’ home. 

“It’s been handled pretty good, and we were provided with everything,” said Sneesby.

With one final project to get through, Sneesby said she feels like she got the most out of her program.