The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Quaranteen Perspectives

by Staff Writer Carolyn Qian

Rate the effectiveness of online class discussions and lectures on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least effective and 10 being the most. Why did you give this rating?

(Rating: 5) “For two of my classes, the online class discussions are equivalent to the in-class instruction and involve students from different periods, an experience I wouldn’t have in class. For one of my classes, the online experience is much worse and feels like busy work and a waste of time.” — Rachel Hsiao, 12

(Rating: 7) “It’s hard to stay focused and the mic gets glitchy sometimes. I also forget sometimes. — Atulya Prasad, 9

How are online homework methods effective?

“It allows me to complete my work on my own basis.” — Anika Kumar,  11

“The online homework is the same homework normally except we do it online.” — Tejas Parasumanna, 10

How are online homework methods ineffective?

“We don’t learn the material that well so doing the homework is harder, and we don’t get to check our answers in a class discussion environment.” — Serena Mao, 11

“Some of the homework is very confusing if the material was not taught well because of the ineffectiveness of online lectures.” — Ethan Cai, 11

Compared to in person testing, do you feel comfortable testing online? Why or why not?

“I think I would prefer testing in person because then I don’t have to worry about technical difficulties. My browser crashed when I was submitting scratch paper for one of my tests and I had to email it to my teacher from my phone.” — Rachel Hsiao, 12

“I feel comfortable because I’m not in a testing environment so I feel relaxed … I don’t have to witness the anxiety among all the students, or the scary silence of the room while there’s a test going on.” — Laasya Babbellapati, 10

“No, as I know that many of my classmates are going against the honor code and I feel it is unfair to those who are genuinely working hard … Teachers curve tests based on the highest score and if people are cheating it is unfair towards the people who actually worked hard and found the test challenging. ” — Anika Kumar,  11

What are some benefits of online learning?

“You learn at your own pace and can skip classes you’re not interested in.” — Atulya Prasad, 9

“We have the freedom to learn the material at any time during the day and prioritize our subjects however we want.” — Shreyas Prabhudev, 11

“We don’t have to worry about commuting and don’t have to wake up early. We … can spend more time on the classes we find harder.” — Serena Mao, 11

What are some drawbacks of online learning?

“Virtual chem labs are not cool … Also it’s really easy to get distracted.” — Rachel Hsiao, 12

“You’re not in a classroom environment, you don’t get any peer interaction, causes loneliness” — Laasya Babbellapati, 10

“The students need the motivation to persevere and learn the material mostly by themselves.” — Shreyas Prabhudev, 11

Are the current online learning methods enough to substitute for in-person instructions? Why or why not?

“No, teachers usually explain material, giving us an ability to both digest it through spoken word and by asking questions. Now, we have to just read it and do it ourselves. This is especially a huge change for classes that are heavily composed of lecturing and asking questions, since teachers aren’t continuing those teaching methods and are instead just shifting to self study.” — Serena Mao, 11

“Yes, it’s like my teacher’s in my room.” — Frederic Xiong, 11

Graphic by Opinion Editor Josephine Chew

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