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  • Elyas Laubach

What Do Students Think of Online Learning?

For many students, online school has been a struggle. The lack of social interaction with friends and the absence of the immersive learning environment of a physical classroom has made learning very difficult. While this may seem like a condemnation of future online school options, not all subjects are equal in an online setting; it may make sense to offer certain subjects online in the future but keep others in person.

The Tattler surveyed 56 Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School students and found that students felt that they learned some subjects in online school very similarly to in-person school. 43 percent of students chose math as the most challenging subject to take online. When asked for an explanation, one student stated, “Math is really complicated, and not being able to talk with people and discuss the problems like normal has made it even harder.” This sentiment was echoed by others, who said things like “It is difficult to understand mathematical concepts verbally over Zoom,” and “I often need more detailed instruction for math and that’s harder to get over zoom.” The students also told the Tattler what subject best lends itself to an online setting. 48 percent of students found that English works best because “the work does not have to change too much to accommodate virtual learning,” and “it already had a large online portion of the class for essay writing so it isn’t that different from usual class.”

The best part of online learning for many students is the fact that they are able to sleep a lot more than they did during in-person school. More than half of students put down more sleep as the biggest positive of their online school experience. However, students have also experienced huge challenges because they have been deprived of their high school experience. Roughly 75 percent of students found that lack of motivation, and the resulting procrastination have been their main challenge during the pandemic.

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