Challenges of Online Learning

Seth Turner, Staff Reporter

Students’ grades across the U.S are dropping due to the challenges of  the pandemic of COVID-19. 

“My grades were not good during online school, mainly because of inconveniences and not being able to pay attention,” said seventh grader Brayden Smith.

Now that students are receiving their fall progress reports, it appears as though, in at least some districts, many students’ grades are slipping. 

“This pandemic has made my online students’ grades drop lower than ever before,” says eighth grade science teacher Jennifer Alford. “This is because the students don’t have a chance to ever really interact with the teacher. As a result of this, they don’t get they’re questions fully answered and therefore they don’t do their work.” 

According to the Bay Area News Group, 37 percent of high school students in the county had at least one failing grade compared with 27 percent at the same time last year.

“I could sometimes not log on to google classroom or an assignment wouldn’t work,“ Brayden Smith said. “When this happens it messes my whole day up. It makes me worry about that one assignment or if it’s google classroom as a whole I can’t do anything and I get behind.”

Students aren’t just having to deal with figuring out how to access and do the work. Technical issues are also a big problem when it comes to online school.

“I give more credit for effort and getting the work done more than I ever have before. Also, before I send out the assignments on Google Classroom, I really look through it and try to be as thorough as possible so the students understand,” Alford said.

Most districts are doing more to notify parents if a student is at risk of failing.

“In the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to interact with the students and answer their questions,” Mrs. Alford said. “Now I am not able to interact with them as much, because I have to balance the responsibilities of teaching my online and in school students.”

A teacher must make several attempts to contact the student and their family to offer make up assignments, extra tutoring or other academic support to keep the students’ grades in check. Without this, the students’ grades greatly diminish. 

“When I asked the teacher a question on Remind it took her half an hour to hours to respond, and sometimes they didn’t respond at all. The teachers can’t answer everyone’s questions which makes it really hard because most of the time you need your answer quickly so you can do your work,” said Smith.

Without the teachers assistance students are negatively impacted and their grades reflect that. There must be great efforts by both students and teachers to get back on track.