My university has opted for online classes this semester, and I think it is great to be honest for the nature of the course topic, so a 3 hour course has a live section, reading assignments section and practical follow ups. I think it is a far better methodology than the in person classes for this specific class.
A student has emailed me saying his learning style is different so he doesn't attend the live courses because he has difficulty focusing. To be honest, I think he has a point. I was that student but I attended classes out of ..I don't know..respect? because I was not confident (or arrogant?) not to attend? I hoped I would learn from the lecturer? But if the class was boring I would just fall asleep, or study for another class or just keep occupied with something else. It didn't help with the 'respect' as I would sit in the front in hopes of keeping awake but fall asleep anyway, when I tried my best but just couldn't focus. I also figured out while listening educational material online I can keep better on track if I increase the speed. For the courses that really caught my attention -I believe purely thanks to the lecturer I wouldn't have any of these problems.
However, my university still applies pre-covid rules which means the students are expected to follow live courses and it means 'class presence', in pre-covid world a lack of class presence leads to non completion of the course, which again I don't think is ideal, but at the same time I wouldn't be able to keep a list with a missing person's name. What really bothers me is that I receive this email by the first -real- lecture, so the student didn't even try and he wrote that is what he does for all courses. Okay, the pandemic period gives them to opportunity to follow up (recorded courses), but they are supposed to do the assignments in the 3 hour block of the course (not graded). and I really don't want to get a list of names because some might have difficulty with logging in, they might be working (although again this would be an irrelevant excuse in precovid days) and I told them to reach me if they won't be able to attend on a regular basis, and this student contacted me. He didn't mention a history of conditions such as ADD or anything. So as much as he might have a point 1) I am expected to follow up rules 2) It comes off as arrogant. So I conflict my ideals. And two points: The other students express how much they enjoyed my classes, and students in earlier classes even signed up for it after our first week as the students just seem to enjoy it. Even for my electives (which I don't think I am doing my best job), the students have been signing up like crazy (I was told I would get maybe 10 students and I ended up with 54 on an elective course for example). So this bothers me some students won't even try. What would you do in a situation like this? I can't really process because my ideals say he has a point, but on the other hand I don't see the student backing up his claims like following the material later (I can see the numbers of downloads).