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Distance Learning, and How it Affects College Students

There are many opportunities with remote learning as well as several drawbacks. Keep in mind that remote learning is different from online learning. Remote learning still means a face to face with a professor as well as colleagues, while online learning consists of weekly assignments or tests with support from professors found via email or chat. Through apps such as Zoom, teachers have the ability to actively communicate, discuss, and keep students engaged. However, this is only true during class time and assuming that the student is paying attention, but that was always the case regardless of remote or in-class learning. The ability to engage students is a combination of both educator and pupil applying themselves to the act of learning.

Speaking from my own experience as a college student, remote learning is quite similar to a regular in-class session. Factors that may affect this include the fact that I am more comfortable in my own home, on my laptop than in class. A downside to remote learning that I have experienced is the absence of face to face office hours. I would often take advantage of visiting my professors during their office hours to ask questions about the class or just to chat. Some students from my classes have expressed their disdain of remote learning and find they work more efficiently on a college campus rather than at home. In these cases, I always suggest changing routines and finding a place to study that isn’t your bed, where your body thinks it should be at rest. This is often difficult if you don’t have a lot of space in your house. Added stresses and distractions have occurred during my time remote learning. Stresses such as awaiting a response from a teacher via email when in the past I would simply visit their office. And distractions such as my dog interrupting my zoom sessions by jumping onto my bed or barking at a bird outside. These simple distractions take away time and concentration vital to the learning process.

Remote learning is not a perfect system, but neither was traditional learning. With an interesting teacher and an engaged student learning will always continue. If I could give any advice it would be to stay connected with your teacher in any way you can, ask questions during class, participate in class discussions as much as you can, keep an open mind, and take deep breaths.

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