As students head into their third online quarter, art students and professors discuss the difficulties and advantages of the virtual environment.
Julie Hughes, an art professor at De Anza College, is teaching four online classes. Although overall enrollment numbers are down from the previous quarter, Hughes said that the pandemic left her class over-enrolled.
“I think the biggest thing for me is finding ways to try to cultivate a sense of community even though we’re all online,” Hughes said.
As the quarter progresses, Hughes found that students submit assignments more slowly.
“Students who are going really strong in the beginning started to peter out,” Hughes said. “I don’t want to see anybody drop off all together.”
Evangeline Reyna, 19, art major, said that she mainly struggles with her internet connection but hasn’t lost her passion for drawing.
“I usually get inspiration from online stuff,” Reyna said. “Now that we’re doing life drawing, our teachers gave us resources to look at figures online.”
Eugene Rodriguez, De Anza art professor, said that he was hesitant to instruct online but now sees benefits from the transition.
“I told myself I would never teach online, and now I have to say I really like it,” Rodrigues said. “I make sure that everything works together because [students] can’t ask me an immediate question.”
Hughes said asynchronous online classes were beneficial for her students as well because they could better balance their everyday work.
“Being online has given students more flexibility in terms of catering their schedules and working around their jobs and family,” said Hughes.
Rodriguez said that he enjoys teaching online but expects his classes to return in person and is planning a hybrid class for fall quarter.