written by Kelsey Pease
For over a month now, students and teachers across the nation have had to take on a new learning style known as eLearning. This is learning through online resources such as watching instructional videos, having class meetings, and turning in one’s work electronically. For teachers and students at CHS, this change is brand new and very abrupt. It was just a few days before the cancellation of school that anyone had heard about Clarksville’s interest in eLearning. As expected, it has stirred up several mixed opinions among CHS students.
“I think it’s nice that we can sleep in, but the workload sometimes feels more than I got on a normal school week. I find myself losing motivation for learning the new material instead of just finding the easy way out. It takes a lot of willpower from me to take the time to make sure I know what I’m doing,” said junior Johelisa Santana.
According to some students, eLearning is making it harder for them to retain new knowledge. It is effortless for learners to get distracted in their home environments and sway from their educational duties. Therefore, staying on task can be a real struggle and a long, hard battle. This has led to a loss of motivation for several students and a decline in the amount of work they actually complete. Also, without a teacher over one’s shoulder and access to the internet, taking the cheating route can be both tempting and easier whilst using this new way of learning.
“On behalf of students or myself, it can be hard to keep up with. When it wasn’t eLearning, it was easier for me to manage myself with school, Ivy Tech, and Prosser. As we switched, it feels like I am doing double the work and not enough time to turn it in at its deadline. I would say people slack off more with eLearning, but it still can be hard for those who don’t,” said senior Mohammed Alim.
Another problem that has come up among students is the workload. Students who favor eLearning and those who dislike it seem to agree that the workload is overwhelming and contains more than they would normally get in school. Some complain that with seven classes to watch over, they don’t get enough time to turn everything in by its deadline. CHS has adopted a policy stating that once zeros are put in they can not be changed. This policy gives students from one Monday to the next to turn in any assignments.
“I like it kind of better than going to school, but it is a lot more work than if I was to be in school because teachers just keep piling on work,” said junior Summer Hall. “I feel like it’s less and easier work.”
For other students, eLearning is favorable compared to the traditional education style. It has given them the opportunity to work at their own pace with access to instructional videos, directions, and even their teachers whenever they may need. They can now start and finish assignments at times best suited for them. For fans of this style, things have been easier all around. On another note, it has pushed students to become more self-reliant when it comes to their education.
In a survey sent to RA and CHS students, with 75 respondents, 62.7% answered that they were not a fan of eLearning, 17.3% said it was better than they thought, but still are not a fan, 9.3% claimed it was not as bad, and 5.3% enjoy the eLearning style. When it comes to stress, for 57.3% of these students, it has gotten way worse. 4% say their stress levels are way better, with 12% saying it is about the same as before. Several students have claimed more work is given to them now. 26.7% of students spend between 6-10 hours a week on their eLearning lessons. 21.3% spend 0-5 hours, 22.7% spend 11-15 hours, 17.3% spend 16-20 hours, and 12% spend 21 and more hours a week on school work.
In the survey, students left several tips for teachers regarding their eLearning teaching strategies. Most commonly students are requesting notes and videos for each lesson they have. A teacher’s personal, step-by-step notes on how to complete the assignments along with a video explaining the same thing, can aid each student with their own learning style in understanding the materials themselves. Also, learners are requesting assignments that require 30 minutes or less of their time to complete. With seven classes each, 30 minutes for each class can relieve some of the stress they feel from the current workload. Something that would also help relieve some of the stress felt is spacing out the assignments more and making the due date for each one very clear.
eLearning has become essential to the continuation of the 2019-2020 school year. Without it, students would have to make up missed days because of COVID-19. Due to the governor allowing schools to waive their attendance requirement for up to 20 days, the CHS school year is being cut short as well as other local school districts. The last day for many will be May 14, leaving a longer summer to its students and a shorter time period of hustle to those who struggle learning from this latest method of education.