University student frustrated with return to virtual learning

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Saultite says COVID-19 restrictions could force him to take a year off to meet his education goals at Brock University

Emily Massicotte-Finch feels her post-secondary education is becoming a big question mark as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put Ontario students at a disadvantage.

She is now in her third year of studying psychology in the research stream at Brock University and is expected to prepare to write her fourth year thesis dissertation by getting a hands-on apprenticeship now.

“Usually you would have done research with a professor before, so in my third year I would be a research assistant helping in the labs – so I would have this knowledge when I go to fourth year and do that. by myself, ”she told SooToday earlier this week. “But during this year, the pandemic obviously made it difficult for many teacher-researchers to complete their studies.”

Ontario announced a hiatus on in-person learning in all public and private schools from January 5 to January 17 at least, but Massicotte-Finch says Brock University students were notified on December 16 that in-person learning will be set up on hold on campus until Jan. 31.

“It just puts me at a disadvantage, because I’ll have to go without any working knowledge of what’s going on in a lab, which people in previous years would have.” Maybe I won’t even be able to do my research next year, ”she said. “It’s just that big question mark right now.”

Massicotte-Finch returns to Distance Learning at Brock University on January 10. She says that learning practically has a big impact on the quality of her education.

“I notice a lot of teachers record a 30 minute video, put it on it and then tell you to read the manual to get the rest of the information,” she said. “It’s teaching myself through a manual. I feel like this has a lot of impact on my learning.

The third-year student is now considering the possibility of taking a gap year due to the uncertainty that accompanies the pandemic.

“I am thinking of taking a sabbatical next year if the pandemic is still happening, because with the research, I wouldn’t want to end it with [learning], I want to have this practical knowledge for my masters and my doctorate, ”said Massicotte-Finch. “So I think I’m going to have to add a few more years to that. “

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