Bob Litt
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Life of an Online Student

Covid-19, Corona Virus, Pandemic – many words for one disaster that got the world on its knees. Food, hospitality, entertainment, education, and every industry that was functioning well started searching for ways to survive and get back on feet because of the pandemic. The impact on all the industries is the same, yet the one sector that includes even children/studying group is the education industry.


Schools, universities are closed with no clear instructions of when they would be operative. The new normal – online classes became effective, as the students have to keep up with the academics. Initially, it might look all fancy and exciting for the learners. Still, gradually it tries to wean off, as learning virtually is very different from learning brick-and-mortar classes. All universities, schools, and other educational institutions are treading toward the digitized books and teaching methodology. Engaging themselves in courses through a virtual platform is not only daunting to many kids but also demotivating.


Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media are flooded with posts with students explaining their change of schedules, challenges, and other reasons that make these online classes difficult for them. Online education might not be a new concept; many have taken this route to engage with subjects/skills of their choice. In the book, Education Roads Less Traveled, the author Mitch Pearlstein mentions that out of 20.2 million US students from both college and university, approximately 5.8 million students are enrolled in one or the other format of education.


However, a few who are interested in spending their reading time in a quiet place or by teaming with like-minded people are finding it difficult to adapt to this new normal. Apart from this, the life of an online student and their struggles are different from the brick-and-mortar students. Read on, to understand what those are:


Self-motivation: Online students have to be self-motivated, which is the first and biggest hurdle one has to pass. During this format of teaching, you would not have teachers/instructors and peers to help you in taking up the sessions. You have to motivate to login and listen to the lectures loyally.


Busy weekends: A student is occupied during daytime and weekdays by noting down the lectures, and this leaves the weekends for assignments, projects, and paperwork.


Technology: Technology is a boon and bane. Students who have good access to it are at a definite end, whereas learners who are finding it challenging to find the right medium to get connected to the online classes know what it means technology bane is. In addition, as these classes are connected through virtual platforms, there will be instances where the site might be down or a power shortage or issues with internet connectivity.


College life: As the education system moved toward online classes, students are going to miss their college experience. This lag of college experience is applicable for students who voluntarily chose online courses due to varied reasons.


Stand out: Instructors might not be able to gauge the quality of participation happening from the student’s end through the classes you attend. But, at the end of the online classes, you will be happy to equipped with knowledge.


Projects/group activities: Earlier doing projects would be a fun and challenging task for a student. But, after the onset of online classes and projects to be done individually, students do not feel much motivated in participating and submitting of their deliverables.


Online education was an option earlier, but during the pandemic, it became necessary. Did you know? According to a National Union of Students survey, there about one-fifth students who are struggling with access to online classes. Adding to the study, Claire Sosienski-Smith, NUS Vice-President for higher education, says, “The most impacted are already the most disadvantaged. This makes no sense when there are solutions available to help them and all students.” 

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