Two months ago, in February 2021, I conducted a small survey asking people, particularly students what they thought of online classes.
The survey was taken by 59 people, 49 of them were of age 13-18 years, 5 were below 13 and 5 were above 18 years.
Based on the responses I got, in contrast to everything else that I’ve come across on the web, here’s my report on online classes from students’ perspective.
Here’s what we’ll cover :
- Survey Results: Answering the Most Common Questions about Online Classes
- Online Classes Myths: Please understand
Here’s what students have to say about online classes after a whole year.Click to Tweet
Survey Results: Answering the most common questions
The survey was anonymous.
As an aggregate, here’s how the survey takers responded about some important questions.
- 71.2% (42 respondents) accessed online classes from their mobile phones, 15.3% from laptops, 11.2% from desktops and only 1.7% from tablets.
- 67.8% (40 respondents) had their own device.
Now, let’s come to the specific questions.
Are online classes better than offline classes?
69.5% (41 respondents) clearly said, “No.”
16.9% we’re not sure.
Remaining 13.6% said “Yes.”
Does online classes helps you interact with teachers more personally?
83% (49 respondents) answered negatively.
Remaining 17% said
Could online classes be more interesting?
35.6% (21 respondents) said “Yes.”
33.9% (20 respondents) said “No.”
Remaining 30.5% weren’t sure.
This explains that most of us are still confused on what exactly could be improved in the learning system.
Do students prefer taking online exams?
47.5% (25 respondents) said “No.”
37.3% (22 respondents) said “Yes.”
Remaining weren’t sure.
This makes sense as the sense of isolation attached with everything online doesn’t encourage us to give exams online.
While some said it’s better to give online exams for safety and convenience, instead of skipping exams altogether, it’s a harsh truth that many students don’t give these exams honestly.
While 47.5% (25 respondents) said they gave their exams honestly, 52.6% (31 respondents) didn’t, or couldn’t give them honestly.
Here’s a short, interesting read on why students are copying from the internet.
Online Classes Myths: Please understand
1.Online Classes are interactive
They could be, but sadly, they aren’t for most of us.
“More interaction” during online classes was the biggest demand of the survey takers.
You need to understand, when you aren’t physically present before someone, it takes more effort to make them understand the value of your presence.
But even after a whole year, we couldn’t find
2.They are easily accessible, so you can’t miss online classes
Online classes are easy to access as you don’t need to commute.
But if you don’t have uninterrupted network connection, it’s inaccessible.
3. Online classes are self-paced
It’s true for courses on extracurricular skills. Like Cooking, Photography, Writing, etc.
You still have to give exams with all your peers. At the same time.
Not to mention that you can’t just log in to your online meetings whenever and wherever, and expect to get taught.
So, if your preparation is getting delayed because of any health or concentration issues, you have to suffer at the last moment.
Yeah, myth busted!
Online Classes are Efficient
Is it easy for us to learn online?
Again, it could have been so. But sadly, no, because there is no system in place.
We understand, it was a tough time for teachers who taught offline, to shift to online mode.
But online teaching and learning needs to be more active to bridge the gap of physical absence.
Though every teacher have their own style, such constant communication is necessary to prevent the students from getting distracted.
In offline classes, when the teacher is not speaking, students interact and discuss among themselves.
When online, it’s not possible.
Hence, when teacher is not speaking, the greatest temptation is to just roam around the devices.
Better interaction and constantly asking questions to individual children (by their name would be the best way) could be a great solution to this.
If students know that they’ll be asked questions about the class, most of them are likely to pay attention to the class.
And that way, students can start thinking that their presence mattered to their teachers.
Which may lead them to consider the online classes more seriously.
Saves time and energy
If only I counted how many times I have heard this:
“You aren’t commuting, so, you should have more time and energy to do other stuff.”
You may get more time, but the physical fatigue of commuting gets replaced by mental fatigue by staring at the screen for long hours.
And what makes it worse is the ignorance of elders, who really don’t care about the mental state of children.
You may say, nowadays, most of us watch YouTube, play games and have social media accounts.
What about the screen time caused by them?
Here comes a big problem.
The major reason why children are attracted to these digital muses is that, their brains are least disturbed while enjoying them.
You can scroll down infinitely on YouTube or any other social media, or play games which need a really restricted set of repetitive actions, you don’t need to think about them before doing them.
Most of these children won’t think analytically while using such a device, because most of the apps they spend time on refrains them from thinking.
That’s why students can’t just combine that “no-need-to-think” screen time with screen time for online classes, which clearly requires much more thinking on their half.
And thinking causes tiredness and exhaustion of the mind.
Combine that with the feeling of isolation from friends and teachers, lack of direction and motivation, along with the tiredness of the eyes for prolonged staring.
While the digital muses only caused their eyes to get tired, classes are causing stress to both their eyes and minds.
I don’t understand how are we saving their energy, just by ignoring their exhaustion.
Online Learning is Cheaper
The classes which were online even before 2020, and are still online are cheaper than the cost of offline learning.
But classes which were previously offline and shifted to online mode just because of the pandemic, did not reduce their fees in most of the cases.
While they should.
At the minimum viable point, they don’t have to pay electricity bills which they paid when students were in the class.
And for big institutes, this is considerable savings.
However, I would like to hear what y’all think about this, because there might be some points which I missed.
There You Have it All
Now, it’s your turn.
Can you think of solutions to the problems I mentioned above?
While we strived to get more people take the survey, this was mostly the students’ perspective.
If you are a teacher, please share your thoughts as well.
And to everyone who are reading, please leave a comment and share your opinion on this.
And share this post as much as you can, so that we can actually find some solutions.