Zoom classes offer a different experience for students and professors

In a semester reliant on virtual learning, the connection between students and their professors is crucial via Zoom calls.

Roman Danielle is a physical education 290 (personal trainers certification) instructor. She gives lectures and lab discussions every week via Zoom.

Danielle said she offers live lectures that are recorded too because some students cannot attend the Zoom meetings. It makes it convenient for those who work and participate in school.

However, Danielle also faces some technical problems while giving lectures on her computer.

“My computer is what El Camino gave me, originally five years ago so definitely needs to be updated,” Danielle said. “I ended up [getting] an external camera with a microphone, so I plug that [in] every day, and I hook it onto the top of my computer because the other one was not working well.”

It took a long to receive the camera and therefore, through most of the spring semester she had to deal with audio and video issues during her Zoom calls, Danielle said.

If the students were in a gym; she could show them the practices properly but on Zoom she has to explain it a lot better than usual, Danielle said.

Despite communicating through a screen, Danielle said she got to know her students in a virtual setting and her students got to know each other better on Zoom calls and that 50% of her students will typically turn the camera on during Zoom lectures.

“It is nice to see the faces; you know that they are coming in with my classes and we get to know each other a little better,” Danielle said, “It’s nice to see faces on the other side of the camera and see their reactions.”

Danielle’s weight training classes have been forced to be creative by using other things for weight training instead of equipment because some of her students do not have weights at home.

“It’s been interesting to see people creative, [getting] laundry detergent bottles,” Danielle said.

Unfortunately, in some classes, Danielle has issues with students who are not participating. Some students use recorded lectures while working out on their own time, or never do the workouts at all, Danielle said.

Chicano history and ethos studies professor, Xocoyatzin Herrera also said that he preferred his students to show faces on Zoom because he can see if the students are paying attention or are busy doing other work. Some of his students are even falling asleep when they have their cameras off on Zoom.

“You can sit on top of the bed so not a problem, but you know I do not want you falling asleep,” Herrera said.

It is not a good environment to stay on the bed while being on Zoom calls. Students should settle down in a chair during the lectures, Herrera said.

Business major, Andy Lopez is a student at El Camino College who has few classes via Zoom. Lopez prefers to have his camera off during the lectures because he can multitask when his video is turned off.

“In case I am watching something on tv and they would not see I am watching tv, said Lopez.

But he pays attention to the Zoom recording while he is writing notes which usually happens at night or the next day when listening to the Zoom recording, Lopez said.

Child development major Randy Flores is a student at El Camino College who also has Zoom lectures this semester, but he prefers the camera on during Zoom lectures because he can pay attention better.

Although, even when students participate completely in the Zoom sessions, distraction is still possible.

“I don’t see a lot of chats going on behind my back and maybe doing it privately, but I don’t see a ton of interaction going on between them,” Danielle said.

Some students have random conversations in the chat room during the Zoom class, Herrera said.

‘It’s been good I bet I had definitely some positive feedback with students,” Danielle said.