The Negative Effects of Online Learning During The Pandemic
COVID-19 has affected many aspects of our lives, one of these aspects being schools and education. Before the knowledge of the virus was well known, everyone was able to go to school for five hours to learn four subjects a day, but when the first lockdown happened all students had to keep up with the same four classes online. Soon schools were re-opened and some students chose to go back with safety measures in place and only two coordinating classes a week. Unfortunately the second lockdown also caused students to go back online to finish their subjects there. With the schools being open once again and students being taken off online learning, this raises the question: has online learning had an adverse effect on education?
I got into contact with two students who had to go through the transitions: Wesley Massey and Nicholas Branganca, both of whom believe that online learning had negatively affected their learning.
“Talking with some friends, their marks have definitely dropped by maybe even 10%," Nick said. "For me, I would say the same.”
Wesley, when asked if he was negatively affected, said “I think that’s fair to say. I mean there are some positives to it, but there are a lot of negatives as well. I feel like I’m learning a lot less than I would be in person."
I decided to do an interview with Matthew Minter, who is the head of the drama program at Canterbury. He said that he didn’t think anyone preferred doing online, but he also didn’t notice any drop in marks for his students. When asked if it was difficult to do his courses online he said “it’s extremely difficult.”
I also talked with teachers from the resource room: Steven Webster, Amanda Potts, and finally Caroline McAteer who said “with online it’s harder for students to engage, it makes it more difficult to teach, and everything takes longer. Even aside from the technology issue that people have and family issues at home that they’re working with, learning itself is difficult online."
When asked about how their job changed, Mr. Webster said “we’re a little more reliant on the students being proactive and coming to seek help as opposed to us checking up on them like we can when they’re actually at school."
Ms. Potts said “there are students who really benefit from online learning, but it does require a certain amount of independent direction and willingness to work without as much supervision."
Many people I interviewed said that it really depended on the subject, with Nick saying “a subject that I am comfortable in, I could do perfectly fine online, but for a subject that I struggle more with it’s a lot harder to keep up”.
Many like Wesley and Mr. Webster say that math is problematic with Mr. Webster saying that with math “you don’t have time to let it sink in, repeat, work on it slowly, and everything moves so fast that nothing is really sticking”.
Online learning might have been difficult for many, but at least it kept us safe while learning which is very important, but we cannot ignore what effects it might have had on a student's social, mental, and educational life.