Last week, we introduced you to four college students who, like most students around the world, are in the middle of a sudden transition to online learning.
Part 2 of our interview is below. These students share the challenges they're facing during this time, as well as the actions they're taking to achieve academic success.
BCC: What would you like to have access to/see from teachers?
Tessa M: Contact. If I have a problem in math, and my resources at home are unavailable, I don't have access to the math center, so some sort of compensation for the normal resources that we have at school would be nice.
Anna Z: One of my professors switched all his office hours to a time I have another class, making it difficult to access them. I don’t want to seem like a jerk, but I feel like this would allow them to have more time and provide more ‘office hours’.
Kateri M: Communication. A big factor of earning a good grade is knowing exactly what the professor expects, and having open communication is essential.
Lina M: Open communication for online questions, step by step instructions for new software, and understanding when it comes to tech glitches/problems.
BCC: Do you believe this will impact your education in either a positive or negative way?
Tessa M: For me personally I think it just depends on how strict I am with myself. If I set times to accomplish certain tasks then I think I would excel, but if I become lazy and procrastinate it could affect me very negatively.
Depending on the person and their situation, this could change their lives for the better. If someone is constantly going to work to provide for their family and then going to school right after, that could be very demanding. But having school online could allow them to relax and be productive at home, with out the physical, financial, and mental stresses.
Anna Z: It will definitely impact my education. I see it mostly as a negative right now, especially with my major and the requirements my major has. And then there is this fear that my professors would give me an easy pass given the level of distraction and fear, which does make it more difficult to keep the integrity of rigorous courses.
Kateri M: I don’t care how it’s impacted, because what it comes down to is how much work one is willing to put in. And I’m willing to put in a lot. For others, I think quality of life may improve, but I suspect students who have a hard time maintaining their grades will struggle more, because additional accountability is placed on our—the students—shoulders.
Lina M: Honestly, both. While it frees time up in some respects, it also is a big jump in the middle of the school year. Probably more negative than positive, because of the lack of in-person communication and resources. But only time will tell.
BCC: How are you dealing with the inability to meet up with people to study?
Tessa M: I think that after a while it becomes exhausting to not have the normal routine of meeting up with the people I normally hang out with. For starters, in class, I work with my friend and classmate to complete our Lab, but it will be 10x more difficult to focus without them. I'll manage just fine, but it will certainly be boring, un-motivating, and harder.
Anna Z: I ‘study’ with my friends, and we don’t actually study we just talk. So, in some sense my ‘studying with people’ hasn’t been overtly affected. However, because I am at home all the time, I am not productive. The temptation to nap is super high.
Kateri M: Couldn’t be happier.
Lina M: With group chats, and calls/FaceTime. Best that I can do right now, but I'm looking into new apps for communication with my fellow classmates.
BCC: What is one tip you’d give other students in a similar position?
Tessa M: Keep the same routine you had during the time you were on campus. Have a set-in-stone schedule you follow regardless if you have the chance to sleep in, it will help you stay on track. Keep in contact with professors and classmates, this will give the impression that you can't wait to get homework done, and study for those exams/quizzes that are coming up.
Anna Z: You need to keep the line of communication open with your professors. Let them know what is going on, what is stressing you, your concerns with elements of the class, and let them know you’re aware that this change is impacting you.
Kateri M: Get organized and hold yourself accountable. Now it’s up to you to learn how you study—probably the most important lesson a student can pull out of this.
Lina M: Reach out to others. Look up on YouTube what/how you can do things online. Get in contact with other students and your professor for help in areas you’re struggling with. Section off time and places in your day for studying and homework. You have a bit of time to work things out, don't waste it.
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