Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, changes in the classroom for both students and staff have presented challenges in regards to online learning.
In a survey conducted by Digital Promise, a non-profit organization, 51% of undergraduate college students chose ‘very satisfied’ with their courses before moving fully online. After moving fully online, the number dropped to 19%.
“Just being in the classroom is much more lively, I’m just alone in my room with my computer, it’s just not the same.” Kimberly Curuchet, an El Camino College nursing major, said.
The struggle of immersing completely into the online learning experience has been shared by not only students, but faculty as well.
“Honestly this does not feel like teaching, at all,” ECC psychology professor Julio Farias said.
During the first shutdown, Farias experienced difficulties in this new learning environment and noticed that students were dropping the class when it became strictly online, and for those who stayed, many things needed to be explained to them.
For Farias, he doesn’t know if his words and instructions are even reaching his students online.
“Especially for me, I’m just staring at my monitor and most people have their camera off, and so I just see a little icon, and I’m staring at this red light and trying to get a feel for what’s happening and whether I make sense or not.” Farias said.
In addition to lessons and learning, online exams have also been difficult for some students.
While students are able to ask professors to clarify confusing wording with certain questions when in a classroom setting, students miss out on this ability with online learning.
“Sometimes the questions aren’t worded right,” Ryan Ausland, Iota Kappa Chi club president, said. “It’s very tricky, you can’t raise your hand and ask a question and get it clarified in the moment, you have to sit there and figure it out.”
Although technological difficulties and barriers to education have been prevalent for students and staff during the pandemic, it is understandable that these occur for individuals and that each person is going through a different set of challenges.
“An understanding of what everyone is going through would make everything better,” Farias said.