How Do Royals Feel About Online Learning?
By Kelly Nee | Managing Editor
The past year of virtual learning has been an adjustment for everyone, to say the least. Professors who had never taught a remote class were suddenly instructing college courses through a screen, in-person classes became Zoom lectures, and we all felt further apart than ever before. But did anyone ask students how they felt about that experience?
I created a Google Forms survey to hear the remote-learning experiences of our Royals, from first year to graduate students. Some people liked the flexibility and comfort of online classes, some people hated the disconnect and lack of interest in course material, but everyone shared an interesting viewpoint into the individual complications of the past year.
The “Virtual Learning Satisfaction Survey” received responses from 2 first years, 12 sophomores, 9 juniors, 3 seniors and 1 graduate student. Over half of the responses were from students who took a mix of virtual, in-person, and hybrid courses.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being “I loved it”, the median answer of students’ attitudes about online learning was a 6. 16 students reported that they always have a hard time focusing in online classes, and 11 students reported that they have a hard time focusing sometimes. There were no other responses.
26 out of 27 student responses indicated that Royals missed the human interaction of in-person classes, and that in-person classes make it easier to focus on the material. The next most popular answer was that in-person classes meant less staring at a screen.
That’s not to say that virtual learning doesn’t have its advantages! Many students reported that they enjoy the ability to work at their own pace, or stay in bed as they please. Some students found it easier to submit assignments online through a Dropbox.
The general feeling from the open ended response section is that some professors did the transition smoothly, and other professors made it difficult, making some students felt like they had to teach themselves.
Class of 2022 accounting major Kim Tracchio said that she wasn’t able to retain the same amount of information from online classes.
“I believe that the professors who put in the extra effort of providing handouts or insightful assignments did help with the retainment of information, but it did not compare to my traditional in person courses,” Tracchio said.
Tracchio also felt that courses were geared more towards simply getting through the material, which resulted in an increased workload.
“Most professors simply wanted to ensure that they were covering all of the necessary material instead of actually taking the time to make sure the students were actually understanding the content,” Tracchio said.
Overall, our Royals had their fair share of challenges this year. The satisfaction survey recorded good and bad experiences alike, but most Royals just seemed happy to put the year behind them and look forward to the normalcy to come.