In the recent past, education around the world has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, several nations adopted remote learning in some capacity. Early on during the pandemic, the response from education providers concentrated on establishing remote learning techniques as an emergency reaction. These efforts attempted to contact every pupil but sometimes failed. In the end, education strategies as a whole have changed directly as a result of the pandemic.

Students had to adapt to a new way of learning based in the home since everyone was put under quarantine during the pandemic. The rise of online learning had begun and it soon received both positive and negative feedback from all over the world. While some think the hurried transition to online learning will result in negative student experiences and prevent sustainable development because of the lack of planning, training, and preparation, others think a new hybrid model of education will emerge and offer major advantages.

So, we, the CamEd Business Journalism Club (CBJC), decided to create a survey using a sample of students from CamEd Business School to learn more about their opinions regarding online learning.

After the terrifying COVID-19 epidemic, e-learning became a crucial addition to education systems. Many schools transitioned to online teaching. Pupils were not permitted to physically attend class, and they had to adjust to social changes. The CBJC established a team to directly interview our fellow students to hear their thoughts on the abrupt change in learning methods after recognizing these difficulties.

“Convenient” is the most common response given when asked how they feel about online education in general. One of the respondents said, “Since I don’t have to spend a lot of time driving to school, studying online was perfect.” Another person said, “I feel that online education is better for me because I can watch the same videos repeatedly and learn the same stuff.” However, “Loss of concentration” was cited as the main negative experience of online learning.

Regarding distance learning resources, a large percentage of CamEders are pleased with the tools and software they use for online classes. According to one CamEder, CamEd is always exploring platforms or applications that students may use to make the lesson more engaging and participatory.

The majority of participants believe that online classes were designed with them in mind because they no longer have to wake up early to get to class on time, and they can avoid traffic and potential accidents on the road. Another said: “I can learn wherever and anytime without thinking about the distance, so it would be convenient.” Even better, students can review as many videos of their lessons as they’d like. Furthermore, since they don’t have to pay for transportation or food at school, remote learning is financially advantageous for them. “I easily get distracted, sometimes I would only scan to join Zoom but I want to do something else
and nobody will know,”

On the other hand, “Loss of attention” did cause some issues.

This is a symptom of a lack of concentration, which has a negative impact on their academic performance. Additionally, it appears that most students have trouble connecting to the internet during class. They consequently missed tests and in-class activities.

Most CamEd students can agree that they are able to concentrate a lot better in traditional physical classrooms as peers provide motivation and the physical class adds a sense of reality to the activity. In addition, with students studying face-to-face with professors delivering lectures, they are able to be active and engaged in class. This communication helps strengthen the bonds between students and professors. Lessons become more interesting and less daunting which motivates students to learn.

With this high level of interaction, there has been a noticeable increase in class participation rates, which in turn leads to higher grades. Learning in person also improves students’ social skills. One of our interviewees said it was easier to make friends outside of class and they were able to have fun with one another. Another student said it allowed them to help broadly develop their communication skills.

However, everything has its own ups and downs, and physical learning is no exception.

Several students said they perceived physical classes to be a waste of time and money at times. They reported that they didn’t think it was worth it to commute to school for one class per week, with some students reporting that they spent between 30 minutes to one hour to get to school. Combined with transportation costs, some students questioned the value of jumping these hurdles to attend one hour-and-a-half lecture.

Other students said seats closer to the front of the classroom were more valuable because they could see presentations and slides more clearly. They reported that they did not enjoy having to come to class early to score these prized seats. Furthermore, some students are used to studying online by themselves and find in-person distractions such as vehicle sounds and other classmates troublesome.

Despite all the convenience that online learning has provided, the majority of students still prefer going to actual classes when asked which option they prefer.

“I prefer offline classes since I don’t have to worry about technology”, a third-year student said. This might imply that the worst aspect of online learning is technology issues. Some students reported anxiety about the internet quality or system errors that may affect their grades.

Now that the pandemic has mostly subsided, physical education programs and schools have begun to resume, and pupils must report to class as usual. Nevertheless, they appear distressed and restless. Why is this? It is understandable that people might feel a little apprehensive and fidgety when thinking about reconciling with friends and teachers, and returning to social interaction after spending so much time in quarantine and lockdown.

It was apparent from our interviews that all the individuals experienced anxiety at some point. Surprisingly, they don’t have a lot of trouble with human engagement. Rather, the thought of getting up early and making it to class on time makes them jittery. “The largest issue is getting up late”, one respondent said. “Whereas with online classes, I could get up a few minutes before classes and attend without having to get dressed and commute.”

A strong debate between the two educational approaches has made hybrid or blending classes immensely popular. A hybrid class mixes traditional face-to-face tutoring with virtual learning so that students can select what they wish to take. Given that, why fight over which is superior when we can have both? Students can opt to attend lectures on campus or digital sessions in the same time zones or in different time zones, which is a smart and effective strategy to prevent them from missing classes.

Students indicated they would be thrilled to have the option of mixing lessons since it would allow them to attend class or at the very least prevent them from missing lectures when they are unwell or otherwise occupied. One student made a point by saying:

In conclusion, it seems that both online studying and in-person learning are supported by CamEd students due to their respective benefits. Despite the fact that students acknowledge the conveniences and advantages of remote learning, some students still prefer studying face-to-face in the classroom for several good reasons. Since both learning options favor the students’ needs, the idea of hybrid classes or blended learning has emerged. This may prove to be the perfect solution due to its flexibility and convenience.

Authors : Tainghaing Kimchou, Montha Khatema, Ao Leangchou, Heanh Sochannyda