Students living in residence halls this semester are having to adapt to doing online classes while in the same room as their roommate. 

With some classes starting at the same time, students may find themselves having to adjust their learning in order to be courteous to their roommate.

Erin Ashley, a sophomore studying meteorology, said that she feels that she has to leave the room in order to speak in class.

“That's like the only case where it proves to be an issue living with someone,” Ashley said. “Obviously it's not the biggest deal in the world, there's a chair outside my dorm.”

Some classes require students to move and be active in class. Joe Sarfi, a sophomore studying history and language arts education, said that for one of his classes, he is required to do yoga.

“The biggest issue I've had with having classes at the same time as my roommate has been that when one of my classes starts, we start with a yoga session,” Sarfi said in an email. “And the only place to stand for yoga happens to be in the middle of the room, which puts me both behind my roommate when he is on camera for his classes, and rather in the way when he needs to walk around the room.”

Ethan Sargeant, a freshman studying journalism, said that he has some of the same classes as his roommate, making it easier to be in class at the same time.

“I definitely like having our separate workspaces and places because I feel like that allows me to concentrate and focus, but it is also helpful to have a resource there for me if I need assistance that I can talk to face to face,” Sargeant said in an email.

Despite doing classes in the same room as a roommate, Ashley said that some of her professors are not adapting well to the change of environment.

“I'd say about 50% of my professors, like two of them, are pretty understanding and they're more lenient with their grading … and like what we can and cannot use for exams,” Ashley said. “Versus some of my other professors are still upholding the normalcy, even though what we’re going through isn’t exactly normal.”

On the other hand, some professors have been working well with students during this time, Sargeant said.

“I think that professors are almost in the same spot as us students. They are adapting and evolving as we get better and better with the technology that we are working with,” Sargeant said in an email. “I feel like the professors this semester have a lot better grasp of programs that we commonly use here at OU, like Microsoft Teams, and it is leading to at least slightly better instruction.”

However, Sarfi said that very few of his professors have made changes in order to work with the new learning environment.

“I wouldn't say that they've made any changes to their curriculum, but I also haven't had any major issues with my learning process that required making use of any tools that professors may have made available,” Sarfi said in an email.

Despite the difficulties that arise while having a roommate while taking online classes, Sarfi said that he enjoys having his roommate there while doing schoolwork.

“I don't really have anything that I'd like to change, as of now it's overall worked fine for me,” Sarfi said in an email. “I do quite like having someone in the room to bounce ideas off of to see what would work better in the papers I write for class.” 

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