Online classes during COVID-19: A boon or bane?

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Mon Oct 05, 2020

There has been a global shut down of schools and colleges due to COVID-19. As a result, all universities are presently resorting to online teaching platforms. These include Zoom, Blackboard, and a number of others. However, the effectiveness of these online classes still seems to be in question. As far as I know, students perceive online classes to be less effective than in-person classes.

On the positive side, teaching via online platforms is the best way to decrease the spread of COVID-19 among students. Some students also feel that online classes enable them to learn at their own pace because the class recordings and material are always accessible. On the contrary, the majority of the students view the same aspect of online classes as a disadvantage. They find difficulty in concentrating on classes from home. Some students say that there is no motivation to study and complete assignments because they feel that the recorded classes and materials are always accessible. Therefore, they feel that they can complete assignments at any time without paying attention to the class. For some students, the absence of direct interaction with the faculty and other students makes it difficult to concentrate during online classes. There are also various other distractions at home which cause concentration to drift away from the subjects. Some others miss the entire on-campus experience. Students who are eagerly waiting for normal classes to resume wonder how long online classes will continue and whether the same method of instruction will continue post-COVID-19.

As an alternative, many universities have started to offer classes in a hybrid format. This means that students who want to attend classes on campus can attend classes in person. On the other hand, students who find online classes comfortable can attend classes online. In my opinion, this hybrid method is the best because all students benefit. However, some students consider the hybrid method of instruction also to be disadvantageous. Not all courses are offered in the hybrid method. Only select courses are offered in the same method. Hence, some of the students may be excited to pursue the subject because of the hybrid method of instruction but may not be interested in the subject itself. The same conflict may arise the other way around as well. In conclusion, though these online platforms seem to be an advantage for preventing further spread of the pandemic among students, it comes along with drawbacks as well.

 

 

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2020 - Fall - Issue 5
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