Online education is not the newest trend. Right now, it’s a major deal.
One of my previous pupils made a comment that really remained with me. Major universities have just returned after being closed down. And switching to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 epidemic on the first days of fall classes in 2020. Most students had been telling me up until this point. How wonderful it felt to be back on campus and how much more they valued attending their classes in person.
I was inspired to look more to learn how some students struggle with going back to campus. And participating in in-person instructions. I was aware that the discussion regarding going back to school had mostly centered on the well-known issues with online learning.
Such as problematic managing new learning technology. Poor internet connections, and trouble making friends in class. Although some students claimed that the remote learning environment presented them with extra difficulties, several students had actually performed well academically and had positive experiences logging in from home.
I started enquiring with my students about what they found to be successful in our remote learning environment. Their responses astounded me. The demands of some students have not always been met by in-person instruction. The majority or all of the students are in a normal college classroom. Are assumed to be neurotypical. And each student has access to the learning environment on a cultural, emotional, and cognitive level.
The fact is that some pupils find it challenging to study in traditional classroom settings. Here are five advantages of online learning service for some students.
Remote learning made it possible to serve students with disabilities.
Our courses are created with the ableist viewpoint in mind. Students with disabilities must develop self-advocacy skills. Which calls for self-awareness as well as the capacity to communicate with their professors. And, possibly, the disability support or resources office. In ways, they may not yet be familiar with.
Even while we’ve made progress as a society in addressing disability rights on campuses. Student needs—such as extra test time, and visual and auditory learning materials. And widened classroom doors—frequently exceed the scope of available options.
Because of logistical reasons or because of the benefits of bringing these various supports to the classroom. Might not outweigh the stigma in the eyes of the student. Who, at the end of the day, wants to fit in and not be seen as “different” or “abnormal,”. The in-person classroom cannot, and frequently does not, accommodate a variety of adaptive measures.
Some of the needs of the students were finally satisfied in the virtual classroom. For instance, students with hearing needs were able to fully participate in course learning in real-time. By using assistive and adaptive supplements like zoom’s transcription feature.
Students were more equally distributed in the front of the class thanks to virtual learning
There is no back corner of the classroom in the remote class. Each student gets an equal chance to be at the front and center of the Hollywood Squares-style Zoom grid from the professor’s vantage point. It was easier and safe for introverted students who were used to hiding behind the extroverted. Safer for introverted students to find their voices online than they might have in a physical setting.
Students were compelled to concentrate on their academic skills in an online tutoring environment. When they had relied on their soft skills to advance in a physical classroom. Many students found it difficult to complete structured activities that require them. To produce tangible work products for group or individual assignments. These students excel at developing relationships with professors and leading class discussions. Without relying on an in-depth analysis of the material.
The chat and video transcripts provide proof of the work each student completed in class at the conclusion of a zoom class. Additionally, the lecturer can evaluate participation without having to rely on memory. In ways that are not achievable in an in-person setting, the remote classroom leaves a tangible record of the work completed in class.
Our bodies and the responses to our bodies were less obvious and significant during online learning.
Many of the aspects of identification carry a stigma. Such as body size and conformance to gender stereotypes, which are obscure when we log into a virtual classroom. When taking a class at home, students with larger bodies. Who could be mindful of their looks and knowledgeable about how to use the desk and chair setups made for smaller students did not have these experiences.
Students who identify as gender nonconforming or who are in the process of transitioning. Were shielded from this scrutiny as they dealt with the stares and negative comments from their peers. Students who are unable to afford the current fashions in a school were wearing them as a sign of social value and were able to attend class without stressing about over-dressing appropriately. Not everyone owns enough shirts to wear each day from Monday through Friday.
It was a relief to not have to think about what to wear, one student said, adding that the concerns she used to bring into the classroom vanished in the virtual setting. I was up early to exercise and eat before my 8:00 classes because I’m an athlete.
Normally, I would miss breakfast to get ready for class and wash my hair. For one student, the epidemic minimized the disparity in gender expectations. She was able to “be an athlete and not a girl athlete” because of the pandemic while she was a student in the online course session.
The online classes felt more welcoming
International students or students who are not white may feel alienated in a mostly white institution’s classrooms. Many pupils claimed that these changes weren’t as noticeable in the distant environment. For instance, English-language learners had real-time access to language-assistance materials that allowed them to participate more completely in classroom activities.
The absence of the ability to sit next to friends and form cliques makes the (ex.)online english learning classroom an equalizer in terms of physical space. Group work assignments frequently result from friends’ or associates’ self-selected seating arrangements. Making others outside of these unofficial social networks feel excluded.
We can select small groups. In a more equal manner thanks to technologies used in the virtual classroom. Such as breakout rooms that are generated at random.
Students had more control over their health in the learning environment.
Although this year’s pandemic was the main reason for most institutions to adopt remote learning, students were still able to take care of other health requirements without neglecting their academics. I’ve had colitis for the past five years, a student wrote.
For the first time, I didn’t start every thought in class with, “OMG, I hope I can get through this class.” Or allow me to skip my meal to make sure I’m okay. I was able to handle my illness without experiencing the stress I typically do.
Students learned about new options that could best meet their mental health needs while upholding their privacy and dignity. One male student confided in me that ever since enrolling in college. He had battled anxiety. He discovered strategies to deal with this nervousness in our online classroom. That he couldn’t have done in person. He stated, “I was able to do my breathing exercises and meditate while stretching out on the floor and visualizing myself at my favorite beach location. I continued doing this right up to the moment my camera started. It was big assistance. I’m aware that I couldn’t act in that way in class without getting strange looks.
I didn’t anticipate that switching to online learning services would give me a fresh perspective on in-person learning. Naturally, I missed having face-to-face interactions with my pupils, and I anticipated that distance learning would generally be inferior to the classroom setting. However, I don’t want to return to the previous state without taking into account the experiences my students shared. Their experiences have improved my compassion and empathy as a teacher.
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