ECU summer school underway online

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - ECU students had to learn how to take classes entirely online for their spring semester, and that’s no different for those now taking summer classes.

All courses have been shifted online this summer due to COVID-19, generating some mixed feelings among students.

"I feel like I might not learn as much,” said Rachel Mansfield, an ECU senior. "I lost a lot of motivation to do everything [in the spring]. Which is embarrassing to say but, I think that's how everyone feels."

But given the circumstances, students like Tyler Bayless-Edwards said it’s probably the right thing to do. "I don't think it would have been wise to be face to face this early on,” he said about his classes.

ECU’s Active Provost, Grant Hayes, explained that their spring semester shake-up essentially put students into the summer class mindset well ahead of time.

“[It’s] not a huge shift for us since 80% of our summer offerings have always been online,” he said. He said about 350 courses that are normally in-person have been adapted to an online format for the summer. He also said because they are limited to online-only classes, the school expects some sort of financial loss.

Compared to last summer, he said the number of classes the school offers have decreased by about 25%.

However, with summer classes handled, Hayes said all eyes are now looking forward to the fall semester. "Our plan moving forward is to be fully face to face in August,” said Hayes.

The plan is to have a block schedule. It will cut the semester in half, where students will choose 2 or 3 classes, instead of 4 or 5, to take within the first 8-week period. They will also choose 2 or 3 classes to take later, for the following 8-week period. This means that students may have fewer classes for the first 8-week block, but the classes themselves may be longer so that students can complete them within that allotted time slot.

Those classes will be face to face, but the block schedule is meant to limit student interaction to stop the spread of the virus.