Students and Staff Opinions on Virtual Learning

Lucas Moore

We asked 275 students and staff members at Green Hope about their opinion on Virtual Learning so far. The consensus? Virtual Learning may not be great, but it’s the best solution for now.

The distribution of the ratings 

 

The Student Perspective

Between students and teachers, students rated the Virtual Learning experience significantly lower. The average rating from students was a 5.7/10. 

A majority of the low ratings were paired with negative feedback about the schedule. A junior, Reem Fayyad commented, “The schedule we have right now is not flexible at all … I get constant headaches and my eyes start to ache from look[ing] at the screen for six hours of the day.” Another student, freshman, Victoria, lamented the long online hours saying, “I wish we did our online classes one after another in the morning and get out of school around lunchtime, so then we could do our homework on our own time.” This schedule frustration is a widely represented sentiment across all grades, along with complaints of too much work. “Using the same schedule as regular school feels useless since many of my classes require hours of ‘asynchronous’ learning and there’s not much time to do that even with the provided thirty minutes of work time before each class,” said senior Rachel Y. There are also issues that arise from doing all work at home, with sophomore Joe Nesbitt stating, “Being at home makes me too relaxed. When I am at school I focus much better, get more work done, and pay attention easier.” 

Not all feedback was negative, though. There are students who are enjoying aspects of the virtual learning experience. Junior, Tejasve Saxena, said “Virtual learning helps in a way because it makes you better prepared for college because most of the classes have limited resources to learn, so it is up to you to find resources on your own.” Other students are taking note of their teachers’ efforts with virtual learning, such as freshman Jeniya Parker, who said, “I like the fact all of the teachers are very supporting,”and sophomore, Emma Despa, who gave a shout-out to, “all of the teachers for the amazing job that they’re doing this semester- you guys are superheroes, thank you for everything!!”

Teacher Perspective
Speaking of teachers, they too have multiple perspectives on the issue. Overall, they rated Virtual Learning a 7.3/10, with many teachers touching on the lack of the in-person interaction with students. For example, Career Development Coordinator Catherine Barone said,“I like being able to meet with students while they are at home, but miss the “in-person” experience.” For teachers, there are also frustrations similar to those shared by students. One teacher said, “[There’s] too much work for teachers and students.  Everyone is exhausted and not very productive.” Several teachers also commented on the schedule, one saying, “I think the implementation of it was smoother in having three days last week on an early release schedule.” Just as students complained about the fast-pacing and heavy load of the work, some teachers had the same sentiment, adding “Data has shown that it takes students almost twice as long to do work via virtual learning. However teachers are not given that extra time. Thus it is a lot more work.” Additionally, staff members have also expressed their worries about the demands of communication outside of class. Compared to in the building, “students also have way more access to communicate with their teachers … It’s almost as if teachers are on call 24 hours a day with emails, Remind messages and Google Classroom messaging,” a teacher said. 

However, some teachers are still trying to make the best of this situation. Fine arts teacher Allen Botwick is excited to be able to “think creatively and challenge ourselves in new ways while continuing to strive for academic excellence and community growth.” Though virtual learning is a big change, during this time there are opportunities to improve on the learning experience.

Though there are difficulties in online learning, there is a consistent theme of making the best out of a bad situation. There are of course challenges, as with many things in this pandemic. “The safety of our students, staff and families is our highest priority.  It’s hard work but we can do hard things,” our Principal, Dr. Hedrick, said. This encapsulates how the Green Hope community is reacting to online learning. It’s not easy but we can rise to the challenge and get through this together.