Student Survival Guide on Distance Learning


The education system has recently been altered to online learning due to the spread of COVID and necessary safety precautions.

Noelle Martinez, Writer

In the past few months, distant learning has become the norm due to COVID-19 and the necessary safety procedures. While students have mixed opinions, Sheila Tucker at East Carolina University examined both pre-test and post-test scores, grades, research paper grades, exam scores, and other measures to determine if distance education is better, worse, or as efficient as traditional education. Most of the differences between online and in-person education were identified in post-test scores and final exam scores. Sheila claims “There were no key differences in pre-test scores, homework grades, research paper grades, and final course grades.”

Due to the pandemic, our current circumstances require distant learning in order to ensure safety for both students and staff. Although COVID-19 plays a large role in the use of online education, almost every major American university currently offers a selection of online courses. Distant education administers the ability to reach a more broad student audience, accommodate student needs quicker, as well as provide efficiency when money is factored into the equation. This new form of education is gaining popularity day by day, as students and teachers are left with no other option.

In addition to Sheila’s studies, Dana Goldtsein from The New York Times states that “Though health experts disagree to what extent school closures will help, entire states, including Ohio, Illinois and Maryland, and some of the nation’s largest cities, including Los Angeles and Houston, announced closings in recent days.” Most states are currently requiring remote learning as it is the only way to ensure safety in the classroom. While there may be a low sickness percentile, getting children to keep a mask on throughout the school day would appear to be a challenge for the staff. Masks are just one of many safety precautions required for anybody in person, on campus. In addition to face coverings, social distancing guidelines such as the “six feet apart rule” also must be applied. These measures would be much too troubling and stressful for the staff to enforce on a daily basis.

Some educators dealing with remote learning fear that this new dynamic presents itself as a serious threat to developing children’s progress in their social lives as well as academic lives. Young students require much more attention and supervision. In addition to children, some may face challenges due to setbacks out of their control. These may include students from low-income families and “not so tech savvy “ teachers. Students from low-income families may not possess the correct technology to participate in zoom calls or google meets. It is common for low-income households to only contain one computer. If both parents need that computer to work from home most of the day, how will the young student without a job attend online classes? Another concern are teachers that are unable to perform complicated tasks on various programs to provide for the students. Teachers of old age for example, may face issues when trying to assign homework online or teach lessons remotely.

In conclusion, online learning does have its upsides and downsides. Like anything, it takes teamwork and effort to grow comfortable with the dynamic and become familiar with the “new normal.” While some particular students and staff may be faced with difficulties, it is important for everybody to help out one another and lend a hand to any troubled students that are challenged during these unfortunate times. As a student, we greatly appreciate the teachers that are willing to help us out and offer extra office hours to discuss any issues with online platforms. We understand that it is difficult for teachers to learn an entirely different way to relay information. We understand that it may be frustrating, and we acknowledge you. To any students or staff facing dilemmas, stay positive and remember that there is always somebody to help.