Are online classes providing quality education?
April 15, 2021
Now that we have been taking many courses through distance learning and online methods, it may be time to look at what we have actually learned during the past 10 months. Though there are many challenges that come about with online learning, in a global pandemic it was necessary.
Online learning has been a learning curve for everyone, professors and students alike. Not having social interactions with other students has been detrimental for some students' mental health while other students have enjoyed the flexibility of the new way of learning.
Some say that hybrid classes are the “class of the future” and believe that hybrid classes will stick around long after the pandemic ends. This may be true but how can students choose what they want?
Some kind of online or hybrid classes will be involved in our education and professional system for the rest of our lives. We recognize that the efficiency of being online and connecting with people from different states without the travel barrier is a plus for the virtual side of things.
But how do you find the balance? Are we overworking ourselves? Some students have found that due to the flexibility of online classes, there is a wavering line when it comes to the start and end of their day. With the lack of synchronous classes, they can do their work whenever they want, causing procrastination and stress when overwhelmed with the feeling of needing to get everything done in one day.
Alternatively, many students have found this flexible schedule beneficial regarding their paycheck. Because of classes not being at a certain time or on a certain day they can pick up extra shifts at work and do classwork afterward. Students are now able to work their jobs at home that most commonly will only work during the summer or on weekends. The issue runs into the fact that it means these students are not on campus and missing out on their time at UW-River Falls, is that okay with people?
There does seem to be some optimism with the idea that it is only for a short period of time and eventually we will all be back to normal. The University recently announced the promise and hope of a more “normal” looking fall semester.
Melissa Thorud is a former staff member of the <em>Student Voice</em>. She served as editor of the newspaper from 2019-2021.Isabella Forliti is a communication studies student at UW-River Falls and editor of the Student Voice during spring semester 2022.