September 26, 2022

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Osmund Pegasus (20) starts second semester without physical education

Osmund Pegasus (20) starts second semester without physical education

Oslo (Khrono): In a small windowless office in a small group in Oslo’s Grünerløkka, sits Åsmund Pegasus Nyrud Østrem.

They have sat here almost all of their study time.

In the fall of 2021, after a year in folk high school, they moved to Oslo to start a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics at the University of Oslo (UiO).

Only three lectures

– We might have had three physical lectures on one of our subjects, right before the exam, but other than that there were no physical lectures, says Ostrim.

Students had the opportunity to meet physically in small groups, for example at seminars.

– Do you feel that it was difficult to get to know people?

– Yes sure.

– We are studying now, but we don’t get student life the chance to get to know others who are studying the same thing. During exam time we were a lot together and then got to know each other really well, we continued.

Then they note well how important the physical lectures are, both for learning outcomes and for the study environment.

– Since the sponsor week, there are many whom I have not met, said the student.

They miss the opportunity to have a beer or sit in the reading room with fellow students after a lecture.

Pointless

In addition to his studies, Ostrem works as a waiter. They think it was back to see the buildings there full, while they had to follow the lectures in front of a computer screen.

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– It seemed pointless to sit at home in class after that.

They estimate there are about 50 students in the subjects they take. They think there was a lot more than that in Oslo’s nightclubs and so little that there was no need for a large ballroom.

They emphasize that getting to know each other is much more important.

Here, Åsmund Pegasus spent most of his first semester as a student.

They should have been ready

Ustream is also unhappy with the reasons why they can’t get physical education from university. They think it seemed a little “midway”.

– What we were told is that there are not enough rooms, but there were rooms before. They say there has always been room for teaching.

– that there will be a digital display In addition, as I understand, some still have to be at home. But they seem to have pushed for digital transformation rather than being able to just be there and meet physically.

Nor do they think UiO was good enough to cope when infection control measures were relaxed.

They should have been ready to open up, says Ostrem.

Puts a solitaire room before long

Aasta Maria Bjorvand Bjørkøy, department chair in the Department of Linguistics and Northern Studies (ILN) at UiO, thinks it is unfortunate that students did not use the physical offerings they were given – such as seminar groups and other group teaching.

She explains why lectures will go digital in the fall of 2021:

The thing is, we always plan to teach in March and put a solitaire room in April for the previous semester, and correspondingly for the spring semester, says Bjørkøy.

Department Head in the Department of Linguistics and Nordic Studies at UiO, Aasta Maria Bjorvand Bjørkøy.

Department Head in the Department of Linguistics and Nordic Studies at UiO, Aasta Maria Bjorvand Bjørkøy.

Thus teaching and room bookings were planned based on the situation in April 2021. The government did not start the first step in the reopening plan until mid-April.

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– Then we had to pay attention to the meter. With this requirement, the university does not have large enough rooms for everyone to give physical lectures.

The head of the department confirms that they then give priority to group lessons as a physical offer, especially for first-year students, but also for second-year students, who have also been affected by the epidemic in their first year of study.

– It was important to prioritize this, she says.

Beginning of the digital semester

– If you planned the spring semester based on the situation in October, did you plan physical education?

– Yes, but in this class the one-meter rule was not planned. Thus, the commencement of this semester is digital for all programs at ILN until physical assembly is sound and permitted.

– We have tried to plan for all scenarios, we would like to gather all the students on campus, concludes Bjørkøy.

afraid of apostasy

A linguistics student says that it also becomes difficult to continue teaching if it is not physical.

They are like UiO Rector Svein Stølen, afraid of dropping out if the situation does not change soon.

– It’s hard to say, but I wonder if more people will drop out because there will not be a suitable study environment. The biggest consequence is that we don’t get anyone to study with him. Ustream says, we will sit alone.

– Are you afraid that you will have to drop out?

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– No, I think I will endure, but perhaps it will be difficult, they say.

Easy to go back to a previous version

Ustream thinks another problem is that it’s easy to downgrade teaching when it’s only digital.

– It was not dangerous to sleep a little and skip half the lecture because there are a lot of technical problems and time goes to other things. They say time is not used efficiently, teachers are not good at holding digital lectures.

– When I started school, there’s been a pandemic and digital teaching for over a year. Don’t you feel there is any quality in digital teaching?

– The subjects we studied varied, but I noticed that it would be much better to have a physical education, to be able to see the lecturer and communicate with other students.

They add that they believe the quality of teaching was much higher in the few physical lectures they received.

Then I felt like we learned something.

Ustream hopes that in the future it will be prioritized so that everyone can get some physical education.