E-learners not thrilled with online option

As the first semester rounds the final corner of the year, sophomore Owen Piper says he’s ready to return to campus.

“I am going to go back to in-person learning because I feel like teachers do not have enough time to pay attention to e-learners as much as they do for those who are in person,” he said. “I feel like e-learners get a second-rate education to in-class students, so I want to go back.

COVID-19 contract-tracing caused freshman Margarita Ho to have to work from home for a few weeks.

“For me, I really like online learning but it is a little harder than in-person because I can’t focus that well,” she said. “I prefer going back to campus so I start focusing better in my classes and ask teachers for help when I need it. It is really hard to understand some things even after they explain it. Being there, I can ask questions until I am satisfied with the answer.”

Sophomore Cannon Hester, who has experienced both platforms after having been quarantined due to COVID-19 contact-tracing, also said he prefers learning at school.

“In September I was quarantined from something with my soccer team,” he said. It was harder to get the one-on-one attention I needed, as well as taking notes. All around, paying attention was more difficult.

Sophomore Skye Kohler pointed to other issues with e-learning.

“In my opinion, e-learning is very different than in person,” she said. “You have to turn things in digitally and it is difficult to do group projects. After switching to online learning, I would prefer going back to school because I ask more questions, focus better, learn more and socialize more in person.”

Both students agree that e-learning is not as effective as going to campus.

“When I was in school, my grades were a little better than they are right now as an e-learner. I think being at school and learning the material in person was more effective than learning it online,” Ho said. “E-learning for me is temporary, so I’m excited to get back to campus, hopefully my grades start going up again.”

Kohler said she notices a substantial difference in two aspects of e-learning.

“I think communication and participation plays a very important part in learning,” she said. “It can be very hard to do that from behind a screen and in an entirely different environment.”

Students aren’t the only ones disenchanted with the distance-learning model. 

“It had been difficult learning from home because of technology alone,” sophomore Emily Oliver said. “My mom also transferred to teaching online and having both of us home is difficult.”

By Nishna Patel and Rylan Runske