With COVID-19 putting a stop to social gatherings of more than 10, schools are forced to establish remote learning for the 2020 fall semester. Although most schools first attempt at remote learning started before or during spring break, now many professors, students and parents face the challenge of working and learning at home.
Senior Florida A&M computer information systems major Roderick Harris describes remote learning as “a terrible idea from start to finish.”
“If you ask me, no one is really learning, and the teachers aren’t really teaching either. The only advantage I could give is that now more than ever it’s easier to cheat and pass a class while the disadvantages continuously grow,” said Harris.
While mentioning his lack of motivation, Harris also said that hands-on learners like himself have a hard time retaining information taught through a screen.
“It’s so easy to be distracted now that I’m not forced to focus by sitting in a classroom … most of my Zoom meetings, I attend through my phone and can easily lose focus from just one text message.”
Although many instructors may say discipline is the key to success with remote learning, some agree that individual students are at a disadvantage due to their lives inside of their home.
“Once one Zoom ends, another one starts and these kids shouldn’t have so many assignments in the middle of a pandemic anyway,” saidMichelle Marie, whose two sons are in grades one and six. They struggle with taking school seriously.
“I already have to work from home so having to stop every five minutes to help my kids whenever they have a question puts a serious delay on my own tasks at hand,” she said.
Given that some students have their parents to help with concentration and even participation, many older students struggle with seeing a point in interacting and choose to dismiss the request from teachers and instructors.
High-school teacher and former Marching 100 band member Jason Fernandez said, “Teaching in an empty classroom on a screen where each student only shows their initials isn’t fun at all.”
Having to rely solely on technology for both class and assignments, senior nursing studentErica Melvin Addres says technical difficulties made the first week of her classes a “living hell.”
“The first day of classes was an epic fail because none of my professors had anything in order. Zoom kept crashing or never opened at all and it made understanding expectations for this semester impossible to understand,” Melvin said.
Melvin concluded that, “Making Zoom meetings mandatory is a major disadvantage because many students who have jobs, should not be required to join a group call. Just post the assignments and let us submit them accordingly.”
Although some students, instructors or parents may not have to face the same struggles, many can agree that there are very few to any advantages with remote learning. COVID-19 has impacted everyone in different ways but continues to discourage both teachers and learners as motivation decreases and passing seems more optional.
While remote learning may have lowered the number of potential COVID-19 cases spreading through schools and college campuses, the disadvantages still outweigh the advantage and should be considered when preparing for future semesters.