With a pandemic breathing down the neck, schools had no option but to close the gates for the rest of the academic year to ensure well-being due to the UNESCO. While social distancing has been immensely helpful in flattening the curve, this sudden disruption has made life more difficult for students and teachers alike. School and college authorities had little time to prepare for this virtual Matrix-like life. As a result, faculties and pupils find themselves at sea, trying to navigate this new learning environment.
When it comes to remote learning, students have the biggest say in how they are being benefitted and the things they miss the most. When a recent survey by The New York Times asked students how they feel about remote learning, the answers showed where it lacked and what could be improved. On that note, let us explore what the students had to say about remote learning:
Table of Contents
Yay – They like to study in the comfort of their homes
Did you know that an hour of commute results in a reduced presence of a student by 0.65 days per week? Commute can be hectic, not to mention a sheer waste of time. With remote learning, students get to save those tedious two hours of two-way commute and spend that time doing something constructive.
More importantly, they get to study in the comfort of their room, which helps them learn better. While studying in a classroom would mean passing chits, gossiping with a friend, attending classes could rule that out.
Nay – Without a structure, it can be demotivating
Regimented class hours and definite lunch breaks gave studying a structure. However, remote learning leaves the prerogative of setting schedules with the students. Now, for students who are not good at time management and structuring, the process can be tedious and lead to procrastination.
While the lack of structure can make things boring, a rigid schedule might backfire. So, the educators must create a schedule that is relaxing enough for the students to take a break and recharge. At the same time, the gap should not give the students to sign out, and binge watch Netflix.
Yay – Learn at individual paces lead to better retention
Each student is dynamic when it comes to how they like to study and the rate of retention. When studying in a group, it becomes difficult for teachers to slow down for someone who hasn’t understood a part. Moreover, with classmates around, students often hesitate while asking questions because you do not want to look stupid in front of the others.
With e-learning, students can record an online class and go back to it as many times as they want unless they get complete clarity about the subject matter. Also, the shy ones can contact their teacher later on without feeling dumb about asking repeated questions.
Nay – The lack of communication can play spoilsport
Easy and two-way communication is one of the best things about a traditional classroom. A teacher has an eye on the students who aren’t paying attention. And it isn’t just about monitoring students. Even for students, they can simply walk over to the professor’s desk in instant assignment help.
In a remote learning environment, students have to reach their teachers by email, which loses the personal touch. Moreover, teachers cannot always respond to emails immediately. This is where solutions like RingCentral app can establish a seamless communication channel between students and teachers without making it informal.
Yay – They are spending less on study material
Remote learning can be way cheaper than traditional classes, where students can save money that they spend on buying books and photocopying study material. They have all the study material they need in softcopy on their laptop that they can access on the go. So, they are spending less and saving more.
Moreover, most schools have slashed down the tuition fees temporarily as they do not have to pay for electricity and other facilities any longer. Even when you consider the bigger picture, you realise that students can save big on room rents and travel expenses.
Nay -Many don’t have access to the required technology
The pandemic has made the line of digital and societal divide prominently now more than ever. According to an analysis conducted in 2019 by the Associated Press, more than 27% of students don’t have a working computer or a broadband internet connection at home. This is affecting their overall academic performance.
To mitigate this problem, several schools are offering laptops on rent. Some are even mailing study material and video contents of a session to students who do not have access to the internet. Until the school authorities mend this bridge with the help of the government, remote learning will continue to deprive many.
While e-learning has saved the day, there is a long way to go before we can call it a proper success. School authorities, therefore, have a lot more to do in this regard. To start with, a framework and channel of communication are essential. Plus, educators have to ensure that students have the resources they need for participating in an online class. While traditional classrooms can never be replaced altogether, a few improvements in the e-learning ambience will surely help students make the most of the situation.