How online classes affect students in Quarantine

Estefania Moreira, Local Editor

On March 16, 2020, College of the Desert officially closed campus due to the COVID-19 outbreak and all of COD’s professors had no choice but to shift their physical classes online.

While COD has provided online classes as an option for its students for many years, having to transition all classes online has proven to be a difficult task. With most academic departments having transitioned to online classes easily, for some students, it has become a challenging and strange experience.

Psychology major Victor Carrillo said, “The online classes have been good in that my instructor professor Brooks, has done a phenomenal job of keeping the online classes at a quality not too diminished from the in-person classes. I also save a lot on gas and breakfast money. However, my main issues arise that my internet connection has been unstable in the past weeks, making me miss segments of my classes. I also have issues with watching the actual class since at home I have noises and distractions that were not present at College of the Desert. Lastly, my professor has been doing the best she can on such short notice for online classes, to the point where I hear other professors are not putting as much effort into their online options.”

For Janet Rodriguez, an early childhood education major, many things have changed, “With the closure of all COD campuses, my routine has changed. I can no longer be part of the fun interactive public speaking class I attended at the Indio campus. I like online classes, but this is one of my classes that needs to be done face to face. I saw that time, as a “me” time, we do meet via Zoom but it is definitely not the same. On the positive side, I save on gas money, since I live in North Shore and can spend more time with my children.”

In many ways, COD students are trying their best to see the positive side in this situation and understand that  the transition was something that needed to happen.

“Given the current circumstances, it was no surprise that professors would have no choice but to transfer the classes online. So far, only one of my classes is online. While the other one is being done through discussion threads. Nevertheless, the process has gone smoothly at the moment, and hopefully, both students and teachers will adjust to the online format,” said Eliu Benavides Jr., a theater arts, and communication double major.

However, for other students, this has not been an easy transition and are finding the best [personal] way to handle the situation.

That is what theater arts major Aaron Ortega is doing, “I am refusing to do online classes. It is not a protest in any shape or form. It’s just a personal decision. The whole reason I went back to school instead of going to work was to be surrounded by physical bodies and establish real working relationships, education and knowledge. Tests and assignments are merely 25% of the college experience. When we meet up with our old college friends from 20 years ago, the last thing they talk about is how fascinating the class material was. We talk about how we met, what made us friends, the things we did in between class. It is kinda funny, we talk about everything but the classes. In that regard, the continuance of my education in the form of online instruction is thoughtful, generous and beyond commendable. I am simply choosing to walk a different path.”

Finding some difficulties with the transition is also the COD science department. According to chemistry major Kate Da Silva, all of the science classes are having a difficult time moving to online teaching. With no way for STEM majors to do labs, the transition for science classes has not been the same as for other courses.

Many science professors have never done online classes and it is taken a few professors two or more weeks to figure out how to set up efficient ways of lecturing online.

The semester is almost over and with the COVID-19 outbreak still growing it seems that students will not be able to go back to campus any time soon. It has not been an easy time for COD students and staff, but everyone is still working hard during this uncertain time.

For more information on how to stay safe during quarantine visit the Center for Disease Control website at and for concerns on classes or other problems contact your instructors or visit the COD Counseling Center for guidance.