Gari Zipenco is a third-year Bachelor of Commerce student at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, studying Business Technology Management.

The transition to an e-learning experience didn’t bother me too much; taking online classes is something I have done before. This allowed me to adapt faster as Ryerson made the unprecedented shift towards a complete virtual learning experience.

However, I would say that my Winter 2020 courses displayed varying degrees of preparedness for the online transition. Two of my classes prepared documentation, one hosted a virtual weekly meeting, and two classes required students to learn on their own.

As of the Spring/Summer semesters, most classes have transitioned to a virtual learning platform, including updated learning for courses and virtual meetings. Many courses have been restructured to support the e-learning environment by grouping assignments and projects with other students while reducing evaluations such as quizzes, tests and exams.

Remaining productive while learning at home

After in-person classes were cancelled, some classes shifted to a weekly Zoom meeting. Most classes were self-taught with minimal supervision from the professor. Ryerson also provided virtual apps that allowed access to school computers for us to complete labs.

In the beginning, when I first transitioned to an e-learning environment, I believed I was more productive at home due to reduced commute time and the overall comfort of my workspace. However, as time passed, I realized the comfort became a disadvantage, as it often led to procrastination.

Switching to e-learning has its pro and cons, but it’s up to us individually to adapt to these changes and prepare our workspace and mindset to function more productively.

Gari’s e-learning setup

All my learning is done on my laptop. I prefer to take notes with Google Docs while most of the class files and discussions are on the D2L e-learning platform. As I am currently taking an Enterprise Architecture course over the summer, Citrix Virtual Apps allows me to access EA Sparx software, which is preinstalled on Ryerson computers, at home.

The biggest challenge for me was organizing all the technological resources provided. As classes are now online for spring/summer courses, there is a lot of content online that may lead to extra stress if not managed correctly. I learned this early on, which led me organizing my studying routine by noting down class tasks and resources on a weekly basis.

I enjoy learning individually, however I believe it is still important to learn on campus, as it provides interactions with peers and professors that can support student questions more efficiently. As time continues, I do believe the e-learning platform at Ryerson will be further developed as an alternative to campus learning.

CDW Campus Interns are responsible for cultivating the connection between IT departments, University Administration and CDW to maximize the student technology experience on campus. This unique program developed by CDW provides opportunities for students to graduate with hands-on experience and explore career opportunities in technology.

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