This past year, education has been mostly online. This was not something that most students (including me) chose. It is no doubt that online learning has effected education and how students can learn. What many people are trying to figure out is if online learning has made it better or worse for students. The first thing I researched were the grades of students during the pandemic. I found an interview that talks about how it’s been for some students.
This interview from a, FutureEd Associate who interviewed, Jim Schwartz, head leadership coach for the Network for College Success in Chicago, discusses why students are failing. What’s surprising is the “Grace over Grades” idea that has been going around. With everything happening right now some schools and teachers have decided to go easier on the students like not giving them as much homework or being nice when grading the material. Other teachers will let students turn things in late, or take a test late to try and help out there situation because they are not in-person. There are still a good number of students who still don’t pass and this can lead them to drop out. Students with lower grades could be less likely to seek out challenging or other opportunities for their career.
This is an interesting topic for college students to think about because schools don’t want their perspective on learning to change.
Above is a graph I found that asks some students opinions on if they preferred online learning vs in-classroom. Surprisingly, more students like the online format. Another thing to consider is the readiness of students to make the switch from in person to online. We can’t forget the big reason on why this happened to begin with and that is, COVID itself. With this comes new methods on how students can be successful with online learning.
Some ways of coping with this new way of life are stated here, from the University of Michigan. They’re telling students that it’s alright to have questions and concerns and that it’s alright to feel the way you’re feeling. One of the best methods I’ve found helpful was making a new routine and sticking to it. Online learning has a way of introducing new responsibilities for students and I found that building a routine throughout your day can help.
The university that I attend, Central Michigan University, has been dealing with the pandemic in a similar fashion. They are letting everyone know that what you are feeling is okay. The one thing that frustrates me the most about being mostly online, is not getting to get the full experience of the class. It has been hard to do some of the projects because you can’t access the stuff you need to or it can be hard to do group work as well. Planning my schedule has been one of my biggest difficulties with adjusting to this new format. The classes that allow in-person attendance I have always gone to because I found it easier to keep a good schedule.
For those who aren’t liking the switch to online learning, they might be in luck here soon. Schools are starting to switch back to in-person during fall 2021 hoping to boost enrollment again. this blog talks about colleges getting ready to return to in-person in the fall, and colleges are promising a “More Normal fall through Vaccination”. It won’t be like life before the pandemic anytime soon but this is a great start. Some colleges however are requiring that students who attend must be vaccinated. This isn’t a surprise considering there are numerous jobs and business that require vaccinations. My worry for the universities is students not wanting to get vaccinated before they attend. Their answer to this has been clear to anyone who breaks their COVID guidelines or don’t want to get vaccinated. Some students have been suspended from their universities for breaking the rules or even expelled.
The number of colleges making it a requirement to get the vaccine is growing. Many believe that this is the first step to getting back to pre-pandemic times. I think that schools should do whatever they can do get back to normal so the education can get back to normal. Some Students are still failing because of the online format they have been forced to adapt to. Online learning is not for everybody because some people don’t think online is the best way to learn.
This ted talk discusses why online learning may not be the best thing for students. He believes in the story aspect of the classroom and thinks that teachers are telling a story when they teach, which can be effective. This ted talk was filmed before everything shut down because of COVID, but he brings up some good points on why online learning can’t be effective for some students.
Not everyone does well with online learning. Which is why I think this is one of the reasons why schools had a backlash with the switching to online. The future is looking a lot better for college students as things look like they might start getting back to normal soon, or at least close to it. I can personally say that I am not a fan with online learning because I can’t get the best learning experience from watching the teacher at home.
Schools are doing everything they can to help students get the right education, because they know that online learning isn’t for everyone. Many teachers are being kind to students because they know this is not what they were expecting when they started going to college. I’m sure there are a lot of students out there, including me who are ready to get back to normal with our education. That time is coming soon, according to most universities and as long as students can follow the guidelines, in-person classes can be back by fall.