Some schools have started with their online classes as early as the 2nd week of July and I am one of the many students who first dove into e-learning in time of the pandemic. With the drastic changes in education, I can’t help but regret taking face-to-face classes for granted. Now, during this difficult time, it seems that our gadgets are all we have.
Common problems encountered during online classes
As students, we try our best to make use of what we have at home and ensure we don’t get left behind. Although online learning may be the best option we have for now, still you can’t help but wonder how everyone is adjusting and coping with the problems that arise while attending online classes, especially during synchronous classes. Synchronous classes are classes conducted in real-time and during this time, a lot of problems arise. Sadly, most of these problems are technical.
Truth be told, our country is an internet-challenged country. A problem that had caused delays implementing remote learning in general. Although internet plans exist; they are not, however, created equal. Hence, in online classes, there was never a day when a student hasn’t voiced out complaints such as “Can someone tell the professor I/he/she got disconnected?” “Oops! Where did he go? (referring to the professor who doesn’t realize he got cut off), “I have unstable Wifi”, “Do you guys see/hear me?”. We are in the city and yet we experience such mishaps. What more are those students who are stuck in remote places where signal isn’t as strong as what we city dwellers have? They are forced to “move mountains” just to get a bar or two.
Although poor internet connection can cause audio drawbacks, the type of microphone used may also contribute to the problem. Problems of unwanted echo and background noises both from the professor or from the student reciting most often are distracting. Being on-call preferably with headphones that have built-in mic can only do so much. Most of my classmates had opted to buy a separate microphone just to have proper audio clarity when wanting to recite in class. Good for those who can afford. It may or may not be that expensive; but still is an added expense.
Outdated Device & Software
Pre-pandemic, I was content with the devices that I had. They may not be the latest; but they were all efficiently working for my needs. Everything changed when online classes began. Suddenly, my devices were not just up to it. They’ve turned jurassic and just couldn’t keep up. As most classes are conducted through video conferences, most platforms need an updated system to work efficiently. To make the story short, I needed an upgrade not only of the system; but of the device. Sadly, it is a luxury that turned into a necessity that everyone could not just easily afford. Not at this time where most jobs are hanging by a thread.
Just like every student, the application used during online classes also has its bad days. From a student’s perspective, it may look easy as opening our device and logging in, but the reality is that we also suffer from a system glitch that we don’t see coming — the crashing of the application, sudden removal from an ongoing class, the incompatibility of the application on certain devices, and so on.
Short Attention Span
This problem may not be technical; but a problem that remains universal. It takes self-discipline to be attentive and focused in a regular classroom setting. With online class, it takes will power to stay awake and focused. Short attention span have gone even shorter. Since everyone is working from the comfort of their homes, we can’t help but give in to that comfort. Somehow dozing off became easier and multitasking more frequently. Due to the lack of interaction during online class, we tend to get distracted easily on our smartphones, our pets and deliveries rather than the ongoing class lessons.
These are just some of the most common issues that my classmates and I have encountered. Admittedly, online classes also have their perks; but this shouldn’t stop us from being sensitive and aware of the different situations each one is facing. As the number of COVID cases in our country continues to rise, as students, we must learn to be resilient and continue to be of help to our classmates as #NoStudentGetsLeftBehind.