Online vs. In-Person Learning

Michaela Powell, Journalist

Last week, after we returned back to our hybrid, in-person learning model, I decided to dig in and find out how the Arapahoe student body felt about the change. Were students glad to be back among friends and in the classroom? Were they against it and wishing to be back home and online? Or would I find we’re a big mixed bag of results? I sent a survey out to a random group of students to find the answers that I was seeking. The results shocked me!

The results ended in a complete split. I guessed that more students would have been happier with being back in person. 

What went well with online learning?

I asked the students what went well with the online learning system. The majority of students replied that they were able to have more time to sleep, and the extra rest kept them more motivated. They also enjoyed that there wasn’t a dress code to worry about. Students expressed that they appreciated the sense of freedom that they had while schooling from home during online classes which took away stress and made school more enjoyable. The biggest reason why some students loved online learning was due to the fact they felt safer in their own homes. 

What didn’t go well with online learning?

The majority of students said the lack of social interaction through online learning made it harder to go on with classes. Unlike the hybrid schedule, online classes were everyday which made the weeks feel longer causing more stress. Sitting in front of a screen all day made everyone’s eyes sore and exhausted. Many students felt the teachers gave more assignments to compensate for being away from school rather than actually teaching. Most importantly, they felt like they weren’t getting the real highschool experience.

What is going well with in-person learning?

Of course, most agreed that seeing friends was the best part of coming back to school. The survey found that students say it is easier to learn with the face to face interaction with teachers at school. It gave everyone a break from the constant staring at technology which was awesome. Having asynchronous learning days are a nice break for them throughout the week. 

What didn’t go well with in-person learning? 

The most common complaint with in-person learning I saw was waking up earlier and the amount of homework given. Some said that their mental health actually went down because they feel they are being judged more by their peers. Not having breaks during long block classes and not having the privacy of turning the camera off during breaks makes students feel that they are losing a new found privacy that they have adapted to.  Some students want to “hide” and don’t have that option anymore. Having to face the world again is very hard for some students. 

Students filled out a chart rating their mental health with online learning opposed to another one with the hybrid schedule. 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Online Learning:

Hybrid Schedule:

We see the highest numbers in the charts above were in the online learning schedule. But overall it seems like with the hybrid schedule both low and high mental health from the online learning chart came to the middle. 

What was something teachers could’ve done better with online learning?

The amount of work, or busy work, teachers gave to students without necessarily teaching in depth lessons on the actual concept made students feel overwhelmed. Students wished teachers could have worked harder on making lessons more engaging. Students also felt they could have been given more time to do assignments. Students felt like teachers should also be more understanding and realize that these different learning styles are not suitable to everyone. 

What is something teachers could do better with the hybrid schedule?

Like online learning, students again wanted teachers to be more understanding. More group work and collaboration would be more fun instead of sitting for 1 ½ hours watching a teacher talk or watch a movie- especially now that classes can’t end earlier. Teachers need to be more clear on assignments with asynchronous days. Students expressed the need for less work since school is beginning to become stressful again. 

But everyone who filled the last two questions out said that teachers did their best just needed some improvement. 

All information provided in this article was given from anonymous Arapahoe students through a google form.