The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant change in how things work. As we step into 2021, the pre-covid days are long gone, and we have no choice but to adjust to the new norms.
Amongst these new norms, online learning has become one of the most significant as well as the most controversial issue. To not lose track of the progress of studies, students, regardless of age, are all forced to continue learning online. Teachers and lecturers have to also alter their way of teaching and get familiarised with online learning, or electronic learning (e-learning).
WORLD OF BUZZ has recently gathered opinions on online learning from local university students. They shared their thoughts on how online learning is going for them so far, both the good and bad.
Interactive Applications & Short Breaks Help Students To Be More Attentive
A graphic design student who prefers to go by the name XW said that online learning has not been very effective for her. “I slack a lot at home and meeting online is a little hard for me,” she shared. As a student who is studying a design course, physical discussions and face to face consultations work better for her.
However, she pointed out that the use of interactive applications adds joy to the class. “I like classes that use interactive apps, such as Kahoot! or any apps/software/programmes that don’t require downloading,” she added.
Besides, XW also recommends lecturers or professors to provide regular short breaks for students to be more attentive, such as a 5-minute break for every one hour.
“Because if it’s a two to four-hour class you’re just going to stare at the screen or do something else,” she said. Online learning via a laptop can often be distracting because unlike physical classes where you are being “watched”, you get to explore other apps or websites during online classes without getting caught by the lecturers.
Losing A Huge Part Of Uni Life
XW also misses real-life interactions. “Another thing is that I think it’s been a lot of time since I’ve had social interactions outside which made me miss it a little.”.
Other than XW, another university student from the finance course also shared with us his opinions on e-learning. Rubin Chew, a finance student from Muar said that online learning has both pros and cons.
“Online classes are really boring,” Rubin said. He mentioned that it has in one way or another, heightened the laziness of university students. “Not being able to meet our friends has also worsened our relationships with people,” he added.
Similar to XW, Rubin feels like he is not living a proper uni life by not having any real-life social interactions. “I feel like I am no longer a uni student because all I do is just stare at the computer all day,” he shared. He felt like a huge part of his uni life is lost.
Online learning also brings the issue of mental health into light. Some students who stay home 24/7 may experience stress, pressure from family or even physical or emotional abuse.
This is why universities should continue to provide financial and emotional assistance to university students, regardless of the learning methods. The authorities of universities have the responsibility to ensure their students are safe, healthy and emotionally well despite them learning from home.
Online Learning Saves Time, Costs & Makes Revising More Efficient
Nevertheless, Rubin also mentioned some of the perks of online learning. “Learning online somehow got me better grades, I think it’s because I can do my revisions by rewatching the recorded lectures anytime, and that cannot be done for physical classes,” said Rubin.
I believe for Rubin and many, one of the biggest advantages of online learning has to be that it saves time. As we are conducting learning and teaching at home, we get to prepare earlier. There is also no rush as all it takes is just a few clicks on our computers to attend our classes.
Physical classes however, requires us to dress up appropriately and be present at the campus on time. Moreover, some students have to get up very early for class because they live pretty far away from the uni campus.
Online learning also saves cost. Learning from home saves travelling costs as well as costs of accommodation; especially for students who are not based at the location of their campus.
High Requirements Of Network & Technology Equipment
Another crucial thing to take note of is the high requirements of network and technology equipment to conduct online learning and teaching.
The issue of students from rural areas not having a stable internet connection and students from low-income families not being able to afford an adequate laptop or internet access are another aspect that we should pay attention to.
In this case, both the government and university should play their roles in providing assistance to the students in need to aid them in adjusting to online learning more conveniently.
Will Online Learning Continue To Be A Trend In Post-Covid Days?
When asked if online learning will continue to be a trend even during the post-covid days, both Rubin and XW said yes. Rubin further explained: “Even if the pandemic is over, it will be hard to go back to the pre-covid days, because the pandemic has already altered the way we live.”.
Our lifestyle is deemed to change even in the post-covid days because of the new norms such as online learning. With some of the benefits that online learning brings us, using the blended mode of study (utilising both physical and online methods) would seem like a great way of learning, once this pandemic is over.
However, there is still a long way to go until the pandemic is over as we are still in the middle of battling against the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus. So let’s play our part, take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and strictly comply with the government’s SOPs for now.
If you also have a say on the implementation of online learning, do let us know in the comments section. Stay home and stay safe!
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