Since the latest easing of the corona restrictions, we can all do more at TU Delft. I have made good use of this and have been on campus more often recently. It now has a euphoric atmosphere which is clearly shown by the large groups of noisy students. Last year showed us how resilient we are, and online learning is the ultimate embodiment of this. Still, that students are resilient should not be a reason to simply continue online teaching without thinking about it.
In my first column I described the discomfort among students caused by their self-imposed pressure. The mandatory studying at home did not make things better. Listening to the stories that I heard last week from my fellow students, I believe that the campus itself is an important motivating stimulus to study. Being together is an important motivator. Studying at home is not easy for everyone and some have incurred unnecessary delays. They can now find comfort in the wide choice of study places on campus.
The physical lectures were much more educational than the endless Zoom lectures
Furthermore, physical and virtual learning processes are really different. The physical lectures before the pandemic were much more educational than the endless Zoom lectures of last year. Discussions on online platforms transpired to be a second rate substitute for the stimulating discussions in the lecture hall benches. Coming together physically with project groups also led to intellectual cross-fertilisation. And you learn to be assertive in the physical world. Just try to attract the professor’s attention while at your laptop.
Now that many are venturing outside again, we can finally make up for lost time. It is wonderful to spontaneously see people again. You can meet new people and get ideas from other people’s stories.
Of course one thing the pandemic has done is to show the added value of online facilities. It saves time and money for example. That we can use hybrid teaching in learning is logical. But it would be a shame if students would become distanced from campus. Campus is just where a sense of solidarity arises. TU Delft should take all the advantages of physical learning into account when thinking about post-corona education as it is fabulous now to be able to study a little bit like normal.
Can Yildiz is masterstudent at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.