E-learning leads to apathy, poor performance

Virtual classrooms leads to struggling students


photo or infographic by Wildkat Media

VIRTUAL LEARNING, REAL DISADVANTAGE. Forcing students to participate in a class with a virtual teacher is unfair to those who learn well using traditional teaching tactics.

Past situations like school violence and low pay have caused the amount of those wanting to go into a teaching career to decline rapidly. This has sparked a serious teacher shortage nationwide. The low number of staff members has left students in classrooms void of a teacher. Now, the norm for some students is walking into a class and watching a virtual instructor rather than learning from an in-person teacher.

Forcing students to participate in a class with a virtual teacher is unfair to those who learn well using traditional teaching tactics.

Imagine walking into class on the first day of school, ready to learn. Getting books out and waiting for the teacher to arrive, but never seeing them enter the room. This year, some students are quickly met with the projector screen. Many students prefer to have an in-person teacher in the room with them. They must get the chance to ask questions. Though this is the best the school can do for them now, it’s not an ideal learning environment.

When COVID-19 first began, students worldwide were forced into zoom calls and online classes. “Learning” like this was a difficult task, being able to pause a lesson and get on a mobile device made grades decrease quickly. Seeing a teenager choose coursework instead of laying in bed on their phone is a rare occurrence. Distraction became a common theme during the months spent virtual learning. COVID cases slowing down and schools opening created excitement to get away from the laptop -lessons and quarantine. Instead, they walked into a class with a familiar feeling of diversion.

Every student learns in different ways –  kinesthetic, visual and auditory. Since the videos are pre-recorded, a student that needs a different explanation won’t get it. This inevitably leads to failing grades and confusion where there shouldn’t be. Virtual instructors do not offer a variety of teaching styles that are necessary for certain students and that will lead to poor performance.

It’s unrealistic, but the best way to solve the problem virtual teachers present is to hire more teachers. Some teachers are not applying, but that is due to the low pay, unguaranteed safety and other challenges that come with the profession. An effort needs to be made to retain the current teachers and make the school a place where teachers want to be. Wildkats want to learn, and the best way to give them what they ask for is to give teachers what they need.