Graphic by Chelsea Wood

Online Learning Isn’t for Me

Online classes don't feel like real learning and stifle student motivation
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Online classes don’t feel like real learning and stifle student motivation

Spring semester has turned into one of the worst semesters of my life, and online classes aren’t helping.

Don’t get me wrong, online classes are nice to clear up some room in your schedule for work or other classes. They are still classes and shouldn’t be forgotten. I’ve taken at least one—but no more than two—online classes per semester.

But online classes usually have a set schedule. Something like: discussion posts due Monday, comments due Wednesday and a quiz every Friday, plus a project like an essay or media presentation due at some point in the semester. Online classes that start at the beginning of the semester allow both the professor and students to be prepared for the whole semester.

Online classes that start in the middle of the semester? Yeah, those aren’t for me. They’re also not what I paid for.

None of us know what is going on right now and we’re all taking it day by day, but when your professors start to panic, you start to panic. Some professors know what they’re doing and let you know everything right away, while others don’t know what to do or don’t know how to use Zoom or record online lectures.

It took me a minute to learn how to use Zoom, and although I appreciate the service and enjoy seeing my classmates’ faces, it’s awkward. It’s just a big FaceTime where your professor is trying to make the education worth your money. And just like in an everyday classroom, not everyone talks in the Zoom sessions. Zoom sessions always seem to glitch and are mostly only useful for group discussions, critiques and presentations.

We’ve all lost motivation, and quite frankly, it doesn’t even feel as if we’re in school anymore.

I learn better on paper and in person. I realize a lot of work is done on computers and submitted on Canvas, but being in a classroom and taking notes while a professor is lecturing is how something sticks in my head. There are too many distractions at home that I can’t get away from that just make it even harder to learn.

Social media tells me that a lot of people feel the same way. Even though we get to be home and work at our own pace, most of the time being at home just makes us not want to work.

We’ve all lost motivation, and quite frankly, it doesn’t even feel as if we’re in school anymore. Having to remind myself is getting pretty annoying.

With all of this said, I know we should probably be grateful we’re still getting some kind of education. This is my last semester of college, and although I’m not a fan of how it’s ending, I’m grateful I won’t have to take any more online classes.

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One Comment

  1. Naomi Naomi Sunday, January 10, 2021

    Wow, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this! I have four essays due in and I’m seriously struggling to write them. I was beginning to doubt my intelligence, I thought maybe they had let me in to university accidentally! Then I realised the information isn’t sticking because my entire first term has been taught virtually. Some of the lectures are intensely boring online and as you say, it’s so difficult to stay motivated. Anyway thank you so much for sharing, let’s hope it gets better soon.

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