Staying Involved Virtually

Gurkirat stands and smiles inside Science Hall.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Gurkirat posing with his arms crossed while wearing a dress shirt and tie outside the observatory in the stem building.

Virtual learning has effectively flipped the college experience head first.

In this new environment, many hurdles exist for students in terms of getting involved. The connected nature of a college campus often gets lost in translation remotely; procrastination, distractions, work and idleness deter students from participating in virtual activities. However, maintaining a mindset open to new ideas and learning effectively keeps students involved regardless of the setting. Online club activities, campus events, and hangouts represent a few effective ways to stay connected. 

Hangouts, group chats and virtual meeting rooms provide excellent opportunities to interact with classmates and peers. “Connecting with other students should be a top priority for online students” (Wilson). Different platforms like Webex, Zoom and Google Hangouts allow users to host personal rooms to invite friends, colleagues, instructors and more.

Students have the ability to discuss, work on projects/assignments and arrange study sessions easily through virtual rooms. It has never been easier to pop into a quick conversation with a friend during a break! 

Gurkirat posing while wearing a dress shirt with a tie inside the stem building

In addition to meeting rooms, virtual campus and club events allow students to involve themselves in fun and meaningful experiences. If a student is interested in history, they can attend a virtual lecture on the Nuremberg Trials or the Electoral College. If a student enjoys watching anime, they can attend Anime Club meetings!

Students should remember that events exist for them to forge connections and learn. “Along with the many resulting challenges” from online learning, interaction through club meetings, campus events and meeting rooms assist in defeating academic isolation and nurturing meaningful involvement (Villasenor).

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Story by: 
Gurkirat Dhillon, senior computing and informatics major

Photos by:
Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio/TV/film major

References: 

Villasenor, John. “Online College Classes Are Here to Stay. What Does That Mean for Higher Education?” Brookings, Brookings, 4 June 2020. 

www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2020/06/01/online-college-classes-are-here-to-stay-wh at-does-that-mean-for-higher-education/. 

Wilson, Jamise. “Staying Connected as an Online Student.” Affordable Colleges Online, Affordable Colleges Online, 7 Jan. 2021. 

www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/staying-connected-as-an-onlin e-student/.

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