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Don’t Give Up on Online Learning

Don't Give Up on Online Learning

Roar writer Kate Palos on the benefits of online learning and why students shouldn’t give up on current adaptions to higher education.

Guidance published by the UK government for higher education encourages education providers to “undertake new risk assessments for the remainder of the term to evaluate whether it is appropriate to move to more learning online.”

Following this, King’s Vice President Professor Nicola Phillips advised that online teaching and assessment will continue until the end of term. Further information provided by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities explains that those who have been studying remotely in semester one will have their timetable for semester two scheduled on this basis. With these updates in mind, there is a real probability for online learning to become a permanent presence in students’ academic lives.

Online seminars are at times painfully awkward and everyone would prefer to have their cameras off. We have all used the convenient excuse of internet connection issues to avoid taking part or leaving a seminar early. Despite the criticisms and daily mumblings, students persevere with online learning.

Distance learning is not a new phenomenon, although it has become more of a buzzword in 2020 due to its popularity in maintaining access to education throughout the pandemic. The ubiquitous increase in learning remotely provides an opportunity for students to view it in a more positive light. It questions: “is in-person instruction actually better, or are we confusing education with everything else an authentic college experience brings?” as asked by USC lecturer Aswin Pranam in his article for Forbes.

Remote learning is flexible as having pre-recorded lectures provides the opportunity for students to adapt learning to their schedules. This rejects the one-size-fits-all approach to both teaching and learning. Instead of viewing online learning in opposition to traditional face-to-face learning, it is more useful to recognise the benefits of each for their suitability to different circumstances. Apart from this, credit is due to those lecturers and administrative staff who created ad-hoc curricula with little to no notice whilst navigating their own lives in a pandemic.

Online learning does have its faults; however, it works for now. As students, our ability to adapt to online learning being the new normal is not only impressive but also highly admirable. By looking past the flaws of online learning, we can begin to recognise the amount of work we have successfully completed this semester, even if we did it in our pyjamas. This in itself is revolutionary and is why students should not give up on online learning or on themselves.

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