As educational institutions across India decide to shut down for the remaining academic year, students and teachers persist to experience a crash course in remote and online learning. The COVID-19 pandemic disturbed the education system so unexpectedly that educational institutions had less or no time to keep up, leaving teachers and students to outline how to adjust to the latest learning environment in a hurry.
Students have learned a lot about online learning in the past few months. Few students miss the social side of conventional education, whereas others prosper from learning at their speed. Few have also resisted creating stability between school life and home life and conversing with their teachers.
An editorial in The New York Times highlighted students’ experiences with remote learning, including its advantages and problems. The key points students conferred were how communications can improve the quality of remote learning. Here are the key premises from the editorial:
1. Lack of structure in online learning can be de-motivating
Unlike in school, where students have well-ordered class periods and lunch breaks, remote learning permits students to craft their timetable. Though this might seem like a child’s dream scenario, several students discover the lack of a structure difficult.
For instance, few students learning from home miss having an ordered timetable with teachers to sustain them. Lacking it, they may procrastinate further, knowing they can toil on their assignments at any time. Others feel blameworthy regarding being lethargic. Besides, several students loathe the lecture system of remote classes. The lack of interaction makes it impossible for them to keep up with the material and retain information.
While a deficiency in structure can be difficult, a surplus of the same can also backfire. Uninterrupted video classes without sufficient breaks imply students don’t have the option to switch gears from one subject to another. Sessions for lengthy hours in front of a screen can also be draining.
2. Few students learn better at their own speed
Conversely, few students have modified well to the alternative. Few relish the facility to set their timetables. They take breaks when they require them and work from the comforts of their own home.
Simultaneously, remote learning permits students to wake up later than they would for a usual school day. The surplus sleep assists to ease stress for some and also assists students to focus on their work. Studies confirm that sleep deficiency is most acute amongst teens.
Few have plenty of supplementary activities, such as early school timetables, burdened assignments, games, and part-time jobs. The deficiency of sleep hampers their capacity to perform in school due to which their grades suffer. However, with more elasticity in their timetables, lots of students have caught up with their sleep routine.
Remote learning also offers few students the chance to discover hobbies and interests outside of the public school scheme. One such instance is learning to code.
3. Sluggish contact between students and teachers in online learning
Students can elevate their hands or walk over to their teacher’s desk in a conventional classroom when they require help. In an online learning situation, though, students may have to fend for themselves if they don’t comprehend the material.
Indeed, several students can only contact teachers by email, and they seldom get an instant response. As an effect, students may submit homework late and begin falling behind. Students need a mode to reach teachers and classmates immediately to get help when they require it—not hours later.
4. Students fight to delineate limitations between school and home
Now that home has become a place of both work and rest, several find it hard to build healthy limits between school and personal lives. Countless at-home students fight with distractions, such as social media and texts from friends. Several also find the amplified computer time strenuous.
There’s an advantage to spending extra time at home, though, the freedom to reconnect with family. Few students feel obliged for the extra time they get to spend with their parents and siblings. They value having additional support with their assignments.
Students need to have time between classes to step away from their devices and take a break. Some say this helps stop exhaustion from video conferencing.
5. Students feel their workload has amplified
Office workers have sensed amplified workloads during COVID-19. 23% of respondents to one analysis said that their work has amplified significantly. Students also sense the weight, particularly with mainly extracurricular activities now canceled or postponed.
Countless students sense their schools have allocated more work than usual. Teachers think their students have more “free time”. Indeed, few schools have forced remote physical education classes, which few students and families find pointless.
6. Few students don’t have access to reliable equipment
Digital segregation is more apparent now than ever. According to a 2019 study by the Associated Press, about 17% of students generally don’t have a computer at home and 18% require broadband internet. Without the obligatory gear to access digital education, countless students stress about their failure to learn online. They stress about the effect it could have on their overall academic performance.
7. Students miss the supplementary aspects of schools/colleges
Schools/colleges offer a lot more than academics. Sadly, remote learning means students miss out on supplementary activities such as sports, dancing, school plays, and graduation. Simple daily exchanges, such as hanging out with friends in the lunchroom, or chatting with teachers, are tough to imitate online.
For several students, this deficiency in social communication is one of the major challenges of remote learning. Although video calls and chats assist students in staying connected with classmates and teachers, some feel their teachers don’t utilize these tools efficiently. For instance, few teachers merely use online learning platforms to post assignments and host lectures, rather than letting students converse their work in class and ask questions.
Undoubtedly, the conversion to online learning is not without its challenges. Now that we know how students suffer from this new learning situation, yet, we can create better remote learning solutions.
One constant issue that students face is the lack of communication. Students can’t contact teachers or classmates when they require them most, and video conferencing is frequently not sufficient enough to entirely comprehend lessons. Likewise, teachers require a means of communicating that’s speedy to learn and improve the teaching experience as a whole.