‘I haven’t done anything for two weeks’ (Students on hybrid education 1/3)

One (partial) day of lectures at Windesheim and online lessons from home for the rest of the week. What do students think of this new way of studying and which problems do they face?

Manuel Zuurman, third-year ICT student: “For me, this ‘hybrid education’ works quite well. It is mainly a lot of homework, so self-study. And the exam period in a few weeks? I don’t think my studies and education, in general, suffer much from the way things are going now. So I don’t think I’ll have any trouble this year.

I have almost no lessons at Windesheim, only half a day on Friday. Every hour a different teacher comes to our classroom and we can ask questions about the material or the assignments we are working on. So it is more of a question hour than a lecture. To be honest I don’t go there that often, I generally don’t have that many questions. The rest of the week I have online lessons from home, one online lecture a week.’’

Unofficial rule

Paying attention during online lectures works reasonably well for me, but that took some getting used to. The unwritten rule is that you keep your camera on, as a courtesy to the teacher, so he is not talking to ‘nobody’. This also immediately strengthens the bond as a class and therefore has a motivating effect.

Furthermore, I have never been the most social student in the class. At school, I sometimes chatted with fellow students before and after lectures, but no, I have little trouble with the fact that a very large part of the education now takes place online.

Quit studying

I do know students who really struggle to stay focused. For example, a roommate of mine studied Nursing here at Windesheim. But she found it difficult to deal with the whole corona situation and all the changes. In the end, it was partly because of this that she made the choice to quit her studies. I think that’s sad for her. And in my class, there are undoubtedly students who have a hard time with it as well.

But in terms of education, things are a lot better now than at the beginning of the corona period, say from the end of March until the summer holidays. Back then we hardly had any online lectures, only question hours. You had to read the material yourself.

Stiff communication

I had a hard time with that then. It took some getting used to and suddenly there was a lot I had to do myself. For example, I had to do my internship in the fourth period from home. I had arranged a good place at an ICT company in Hengelo, where I was able to work on a great assignment.

It didn’t seem very complicated beforehand, but it was because I was at home. For example, communicating with colleagues there was difficult. I had to schedule an appointment for every little thing I wanted to ask or discuss. Normally you work together every day, now I had to do it on my own, from home.

Problems with motivation

As a result, I certainly had problems with my motivation at the beginning of my internship. I had lost the overview and I just wasn’t sure what to do and what was expected of me. My reaction to that was that I stopped working completely, I haven’t done anything during the first two weeks.

Maybe that’s why I give my all to prevent myself from falling still. The first two years of my studies went well, so it would be a shame to let it fail now. Corona can’t get me down.

Thin line

In the end, I do think that the normal way of teaching works best for me. Sometimes it feels like I have to do my best to stop myself from drowning. Motivation is a thin line for me, it is going well now, but if I were to lag a little behind, I could just stop all together again.

Workspace in the T building 

That is why I made reservations for this workplace here in the T-building, for the entire period. I don’t work as well at home, there is less distraction here at Windesheim. It is difficult to explain how that works, it’s just because I am ‘at school’. Maybe the atmosphere, this is school so when I am here, I am actually working. By the way, only a few students do this. Just look around you, there’s no one else sitting there, I’m the only one here now.”

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