February 5, 2021
Last semester introduced Sun Devils to more options than ever before to help shape their academic experience. Amid a global pandemic, ASU expanded its already robust on-campus and online academic experiences to include a synchronous online option.
Through ASU Sync students have the option to attend class in person or online via Zoom, or both, not only advancing the university’s COVID-19 management strategy but also providing flexible learning modalities to ensure that students in all situations could succeed.
Rachel Miserlian, a junior studying marketing and supply chain management, spoke to ASU Student Life about her experience last fall with the expanded options and provided tips she and her peers are applying this spring to stay on top of their academic and extracurricular activities.
When ASU moved to online courses last March in accordance with state and county public health guidance at that time, Miserlian said her courses transitioned smoothly, though she found her in-person classes more engaging.
“It was better than I expected,” Miserlian said.
According to Miserlian, ASU Sync made learning online much easier in the fall semester.
“I would definitely say it was better than the virtual half of spring semester. I felt like I learned more in my classes than in spring,” Miserlian said.
Although Miserlian prefers taking classes in person, ASU Sync has helped her to improve her time management skills and procrastinate less, she said.
“Do not underestimate how much probably more than before you might procrastinate and feel unmotivated with the fully online semester,” Miserlian said.
Her biggest challenge in the fall was paying attention in class and avoiding procrastination while learning from home.
With one semester of ASU Sync under her belt, Miserlian strategized how to improve her learning experience for the spring semester. One specific strategy she is trying is leaving her phone off during class to eliminate distractions.
“I would like to try turning my phone off or putting it in a different room,” Miserlian said.
Aside from overcoming the distractions that come with working and learning from home, ASU Sync has provided students with more downtime, Miserlian said.
“Usually I’m very very busy. Having all those classes in person and work meant that just life was a lot more stressful and I didn’t get much downtime prior to COVID,” Miserlian said.
Because ASU Sync has an online option via Zoom, students can save time that would have been used on their commute.
“It was definitely nice to have a little more free time,” Miserlian said.
Since COVID precautions aren’t going away anytime soon, she emphasized that first-year students or students new to ASU Sync should still get involved on campus, even if it’s from a distance.
“You can still get involved even when it's virtual. You don’t have to go to anything to meet people. You can privately message somebody on Zoom who is in your class,” Miserlian said.
“Take the opportunities that are available to you to get to know people even if it is virtual.”