Students don’t get the same value education online
Online courses have been the sole solution to mid-pandemic schooling, but nothing is going to equal the experience or pay off of face-to-face education.
Every student from March 2020 to present day has experienced online school in some capacity. From my own conversations with peers, taking classes online has completely diminished any value to school. 2020 high school and college seniors lost the last month leading up to graduation because of the pandemic, and they were forced into online assignments to complete their education.
It was made very clear to everyone stepping into the 2020-2021 school year that online classes would become a regular part of the pandemic education. But, with the lack of in-person learning, there has been a serious lack of actual learning. From a student perspective, there has been a serious decline in morale when it comes to going to class. There’s only so much productivity you can achieve from your dorm room or any common space around campus.
I have to pick my courses for the next semester, and with testing protocols and safety precautions on the Keene State College campus, there has been a reintroduction of completely in-person classes. I have gone out of my way in earlier semesters to schedule classes that were at least a hybrid online/in-person course so I’d have the opportunity to be in a real classroom and not be in my dorm room. Although in past semesters those in-person classes have been limited, and it was extremely discouraging to take strictly online courses.
It was also difficult to comprehend and give full attention to online courses. In the modern age of technology, students have regularly associated being on their phones and laptops with leisure and free time. Having to shift the attention from Netflix to Canvas while still in the comfort of the dorms is, in some cases, borderline impossible. Zoom classes even felt like just listening to a YouTube video or a podcast and didn’t engage students. Getting work done completely online seemed like a chore rather than actually enjoying the courses and the material.
I can only imagine how some professors felt about online courses. Trying to work one-on-one with students, giving assignments via email and talking to your computer must be exhausting. Professors teaching several courses also have to manage everything online and I can bet it gets cluttered. Even students managing their laundry list of assignments must find it incredibly overwhelming when there’s growing Canvas To-Do notifications.
Online classes, although they allow the semesters to continue, seem to be hurting more than helping. There are several instances where there are benefits from Zoom classes and online assignments, but I think coming back to in-person learning is going to be a great upswing in morale for students across all levels.
Abby Provencal can be contacted at