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University of Nebraska-Lincoln starts first day of in-person learning

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 8:03 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - For the first time in over five months, students are back in the classrooms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for in-person learning. College campuses across the nation including the University of North Carolina and Notre Dame have shifted from in-person to remote learning. Although this is happening elsewhere, some staff and students at UNL are optimistic they will stay in-person this fall. UNL freshman Alex Watson said she finished her high school career remotely and feels it’ll be easy to adjust to the new norm.

“It’s not that difficult for me because I don’t have any other experience in college regularly,” Watson said. Students at UNL are required to wear facemasks in class along with sanitizing their hands. Students are also spread out in the classrooms and some classes even offer hybrid learning, which is a mix of in-person and remote learners in the same class. Watson said she feels confident in the university’s current plan.

“I’m nervous about an outbreak,” Watson said. “But, so far, the University is taking all of the guidelines that they can to make sure that that doesn’t happen.” Although Watson enjoys taking in-person classes, she also has many that are remote. An option UNL junior Ashley Clegg said she prefers to in-person learning.

Chegg said, “I honestly prefer watching the recorded lectures so I can speed it up.” Chegg said she currently has one of her lectures in the Lied Center auditorium and feels it’s a little different because she usually goes to concerts there.

While some classes are using conventional classrooms, some UNL law students will have the chance to take classes outside under a tent. The UNL College of Law has two tents on each side of its building; one is used for a classroom and the other is for a study lounge. UNL law student Taylor Christopher said it’s great to be able to get outside for classes this fall.

“It’s an interesting and creative solution to COVID,” Christopher said. “It’s fun. It’s nice to be outside all day.” UNL law professor Matt Schaefer said he pushed for classes outside because he said UNMC officials recommend having class outside. Although remote learning is still an option for law students, Schaefer said being in-person is specifically important for law students.

“Law is probably more so than any other field,” Schaefer said. “That in-person dynamic, that back and forth debate discussion, etc. is important to get in-person”. Schaefer said law classes will likely be outside until Oct. 2. He said, weather permitting, that date could be moved back.

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