By Madi Rowe, Viking Fusion Videographer, and Ben Allee, Viking Fusion News Producer
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — At Berry College, classes in 2020 look different than they have in previous years due to the social distancing efforts of administration, faculty, and students.
To keep large classes safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, professors must use unique classroom features, locations, and class schedules to keep students socially distanced. Many classes now take place in unusual rooms, such as the ballrooms or conference rooms of the student center or one of several outdoor tents placed around campus.
Even these outdoor tents have all Berry’s required social distancing features, plus a few creature comforts. Clear dividers separate teachers from students, chairs are set six feet apart, fans keep groups cool in the Georgia heat, and some tents provide wifi.
In indoor classrooms, professors often use webcams to record lectures that will replace certain in person class sessions. In some cases, entire classes take place online.
Sophomore engineering major Kaitlyn Kosten is one of many students who does not mind hybrid class formats, especially when they take the place of online schooling.
“I think it’s nice to not be fully online because I learn better in class,” Kosten said. “Last semester was daunting because it is so hard to learn online.”
Hybrid class schedules and unique classrooms are just a few of the measures Berry has taken to protect students from COVID-19 as they’ve returned to campus. If you have thoughts, stories, or photos about college life during the COVID-19 pandemic, reach out to us at @vikingfusion or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update (1/21/21): This story was originally titled “The COVID-friendly classroom: Unique features, locations, and schedules mark return to school.” This story was the informal beginning of our COVID in photos series, and has been retitled to align with the other entries in that set.