Learning post-pandemic: Classes go virtual over Thanksgiving Break

Email for CCA 151 Thanksgiving class held on Nov. 21 2022 Photo credit: Sophie Shapiro

While many students were excited to celebrate Thanksgiving break last week, one major schedule change delayed their holiday experience.

UM hosted classes for online instruction on Monday, Nov. 21 and Tuesday, Nov. 22. Over the last few years, there was no instruction hosted by the school and students received those days off.

“I think an online class during Thanksgiving week is the best option when compared to either holding the class in person or canceling it altogether,” Sana Haq, a professor in the Department of Cinematic Arts, said.

Haq said her classes and course plans were not disrupted by the online format and her students were able to travel on dates that were convenient for them.

While most students would have rather had no classes as what was the norm for years, the schedule change was well-reviewed and appreciated by students and staff as it allowed for everyone to enjoy time with their family if they were going home, whether or not they were celebrating the holiday.

“It worked out well for everyone,” Haq said.

One issue that UM’s students had over this break was the fact that many students traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to spend time with their families, causing issues about when to book flights or time zone issues for those living across the world.

Mia Gagliardi, a freshman on the pre-law track, noted that the online classes allowed students from long distances to spend substantial time with their families and the decision is a better substitute than if UM administration decided to host classes in-person during the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break.

“The online classes were a really good idea,” Gagliardi said. “Students could go home as early or late as they wanted and abroad students didn’t have to miss Thanksgiving because of such a short break.”

Although some professors still met with students on Zoom, others canceled class entirely and simply assigned work to be due by the end of break. Gagliardi was thankful that some of her professors opted to cancel class which gave her a longer break and more time with friends and family.

“I was very happy with my classes because most of my professors told me to enjoy my time with my family and canceled class,” Gagliardi said. “Especially with finals coming up in a couple weeks, no class was a huge relief.”

Now, students are back on campus and courses are in full swing to finish out the fall semester.