COVID-19 has indeed changed the world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the world has witnessed and suffered one challenge after another. The education sector is no exemption. Students all over the world have undoubtedly had their fair share of troubles brought by this global pandemic.
Challenges students face in distance learning and some possible solutions to resolve them:
TECHNICAL ISSUES. Online classes are highly dependent on technology, especially on fast, stable internet and working devices. However, many students encounter unstable internet connection, malfunctioning computers, software crashes, and so on. These technical problems make online learning hard for students.
Solution: There are some ways to address these issues. Firstly, students may inform their instructors of these problems. Hopefully, in response, the teachers will understand and provide helpful solutions for the students such as recording their classes, sending digital handouts, and others. Secondly, students may get a backup. If possible, they may have another learning gadget and cellular data on standby when the computer breaks down or the Wi-Fi becomes unreliable. Thirdly, some institutions provide assistance to their students by giving them technical support services. Students may maximize this as an option.
PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS. Pets running around, physical noises from family members, and even responsibilities such as chores are also issues. Reportedly, students expressed that online learning becomes difficult with the presence of these things in their surroundings.
Solution: Faced with these distractions, students may find a place where they can focus on their virtual learning. For many students, this means a space that is isolated and quiet, enabling them to concentrate solely on their learning. Additionally, students may inform their family members of their learning schedule to allow them to give themselves fully to their learning at that time period.
LACK OF MOTIVATION. Staying motivated is another challenge that students are facing in their virtual learning. Learning at home may prove to be very difficult since the students usually do not see their home as a place of learning. They may feel very comfortable and find it hard to even begin their classes and schoolwork. Another issue is the fact that students are physically alone as learners. Studies show that students feel more motivated to attend classes and work on activities and projects in person.
Solution: Students are advised to condition their minds to treat their home as a learning place. It may be challenging at first, but they will be able to transition if they are given enough time. Also, in this time of pandemic, students need to cope with only virtual meetings most of the time for their own safety. They may actively involve themselves in online discussions, group video calls, and virtual meet-ups related to their studies to motivate themselves.
DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS. Going to school to learn somehow instills discipline in the students. Unconsciously, they know that when they are at school, they need to practice certain habits in order to fulfill the school’s requirements and expectations like going to school on time, submitting school works on or before deadlines, acting properly inside the classroom, attending classes on schedule, and many others. However, with online learning, things may be different. For some students, keeping on with discipline is easy; but for others, it can be a great challenge.
Solution: Discipline is a big factor in a successful online learning. Students, with the help and support of their families and guardians, should be able to instill discipline in themselves. Some practical ways are to create a schedule or a to-do list and stick to it, set a place and time to learn or do school work, organize their study space, and even give ample time for rest and recreation. These things may contribute to a healthy and balanced discipline that will encourage the students in their online learning.
GETTING LEFT BEHIND. Some students find it easy to continue studying online; but others get left behind. It becomes even harder when the students are having a hard time reaching out to their instructors, peers, and classmates. Some may be too shy, or at times, the availability is just not there, especially when the learning is asynchronous.
Solution: In cases like this, teachers are advised to observe their students closely and watch out for those who may be having difficulties with their studies. They shall make themselves available and try to reach out to these students. They may also encourage their other students to encourage and help their peers and classmates who may be experiencing such problems.
Conclusively, the challenges that Covid-19 has brought are mostly unfamiliar and difficult; but these challenges have certainly brought a lot of good to the world as well. One important thing it has taught the students and all of the world is to adapt. The challenges brought by this pandemic may continue to arise; but as long as the world knows how to adapt, it will survive.