Niche Resources
Niche Resources
Niche Resources

Eleven Schools That Did Online Learning Well This Spring

The COVID-19 pandemic turned college life upside down for administrators, faculty members, and students across the globe. Though every institution faced intense challenges pivoting to fully online instruction nearly overnight, some rose to the occasion. We talked to students at eleven different schools that went the extra mile when it came to making the switch.

1. Mississippi State University

Jasmine Johnson, Sophomore

Quick Stats:

Administrative Response:

“The administration responded quickly with the outbreak and gave the students another week of spring break while figuring out how to carry out the rest of the semester. They kept us updated with statements and emails.” – Jasmine Johnson, Sophomore

Centralized Coursework Platform (Canvas):

“It keeps everything on a timeline so it worked well. I have used this platform before and I like how it gives you all your due dates and prioritizes them in order.” – Jasmine Johnson, Sophomore

2. Florida International University

Michelle Rosen, Sophomore

Quick Stats:

Administrative Response:

The university’s response to the pandemic was quite swift, they acted correctly by restricting and advising their student body to stay home hence forth … We did receive weekly emails by the provost with some form of information regarding the situation.” – Michelle Rosen, Sophomore

Accessibility:

“I was fortunate enough to have access to WiFi and the technological resources to get my work done. Nevertheless, FIU did implement a program that helped those students who didn’t have access to either of those resources to obtain them (i.e. rented laptops and routers).” – Michelle Rosen, Sophomore

3. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Ralph Balita, Sophomore

Quick Stats:

Administrative Response:

“I think it was pretty well organized and they always kept me up to date. They sent useful links to websites that can help us know more about preventing the spread of the virus.” – Claire, Senior

“The UIUC administration has taken really slow measures to respond to how school will fit for the fall. They finally presented an approval to continue a hybrid style of class for the Fall. I do feel informed about the decision with the video briefing series that the UIUC Return to Campus Committee has made.” – Ralph Balita, Sophomore

Coursework Platforms (combination of individual class websites, Piazza, Blackboard):

“The individual websites are super useful in terms of keeping assignments organized. Most classes hold the same format/style of website, making each of the classes easy to navigate through. Piazza is also good for students to anonymously engage with classmates and professors, seeing that we can post questions and answers to help each other as a class community. I had never used these platforms before, but I find them helpful during this time of Virtualness and Social Distancing, as it is almost like talking to my classmates normally, but just on a centralized platform.” – Ralph Balita, Sophomore

What To Do When You Can’t Tour Colleges In Person

4. Howard University

Quick Stats:

Accessibility:

“I had sufficient access to technology and WiFi however my school did take the steps to send out devices to those without in order to help with those who may not have” – Kenthia Roberts, Freshman

Class Structure:

I preferred tuning in, which all my classes required me to do, as it kept me engaged however at least 2 of my teachers did make the lectures available to access on our own time” – Kenthia Roberts, Freshman

5. Rutgers University – New Brunswick

Celín Hidalgo, Freshman

Quick Stats:

Professors:

“My professors communicated with us everyday. Always sending emails and reminders through Canvas or Sakai. They also had office hours and they were always open to meet any other time, since they understood that not everyone had the same situation. [They] were really flexible with the deadlines, and opportunities. Some of them offered extra credit, or extra assignments to help everyone.” – Celín Hidalgo, Freshman

6. Rutgers University – Newark

Quick Stats:

  • Location: Newark, NJ
  • Public University
  • Niche Diversity Grade: A+

Administrative Response:

Rutgers always updated us with the latest news regarding virtual learning and the steps being taken on campus along with various other updates from the university leaders.” – Helana Mansour, Sophomore

Professors:

“Most of my professors understood the need for more time and were all flexible with the due dates. Some extended the due date until the end of the semester so that we don’t stress ourselves out with work during a pandemic. Other professors gave excuses for missed assignments and tried to meet our needs.” – Helana Mansour, Sophomore

7. Trine University

Charteara Fitz, Freshman

Quick Stats:

  • Location: Angola, IN
  • Private University
  • Niche Dorms Grade: A-

Administrative Response:

“I feel as if my school kept me informed … My professors were understanding and really took the time to connect with me and make sure I was fine. The University administration made sure to constantly send us emails about the steps they have been taking … I believe they were being as transparent as possible.” – Charteara Fitz, Freshman

Professors:

“My professors posted to moodle, they sent emails and they also had zoom office hours. I personally preferred to email but all of the avenues were very helpful.” – Charteara Fitz, Freshman

 

Follow Niche on TikTok!

8. Brigham Young University

Trent Bosen, Freshman

Quick Stats:

Administrative Response:

“I felt like they did a good job of explaining the situation and dealing with it appropriately. It took a while to get some information but that is understandable.” – Trent Bosen, Freshman

Accessibility:

“I did have access to WiFi, but my school offers help to students who need WiFi. They want us to succeed and they are willing to help any way they can.” – Andrea Benson, Freshman

Professors:

Different professors used different ways to communicate. Some offered virtual office hours, some used remind 101, some sent weekly emails, and some sent reminders through canvas.” – Andrea Benson, Freshman

9. University of Connecticut

Jerushka Joseph, Sophomore

Quick Stats:

  • Location: Storrs, CT
  • Public University
  • Niche Student Life Grade: A

Administrative Response:

“We were well informed. Every day at least two emails were sent to us about what they are planning for the rest of the semester how they are trying to help all the students and also how the coronavirus is affecting our surroundings.” – Jerushka Joseph, Sophomore

Flexible:

“They gave a maximum of a week to turn in work after the deadline.” – Jerushka Joseph, Sophomore

10. Southern Oregon University

Kaylyn Jordaan, Senior

Quick Stats:

  • Location: Ashland, OR
  • Public University
  • Niche Diversity Grade: A-

Organization:

“We used the Moodle platform as well as zoom call platforms to communicate. This resulted in only two different logins and clear communication and expectations … I had three of my five classes require zoom meetings and logins. The other two had weekly check ins and due dates that stayed consistent.” – Kaylyn Jordaan, Senior

Professors:

Most of my assignments came with a flexible week extension on need basis. No questions were asked, if you just let the professor know then they would provided an extension.” – Kaylyn Jordaan, Senior

11. University of Nebraska Omaha

Jocelyn Bocanegra, Freshman

Quick Stats:

Administrative Response:

“My school emailed us saying if we needed any type of technology like a computers or WiFi they had that available for us. We just had to fill out a request for and then we would just go pick it up. I’m so grateful the school did that because my computer had just broken down on me so having the school helping us in that aspect was nice.” – Jocelyn Bocanegra, Freshman

Class Structure:

“For two of my classes we had to do virtual class through zoom at a certain time witch I liked because it just kept me on a schedule while still having the flexibility with my other classes in which we did not have virtual meetings.” – Jocelyn Bocanegra, Freshman

6 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Freshman Year