Con: Online learning necessary but not as effective


Divya Joshi

Through the pandemic, a majority of Coppell ISD students are attending school online. The Sidekick staff writer Manasa Mohan discusses that although online students have the same curriculum, they have different mindsets and methods regarding online learning.

Manasa Mohan, Staff Writer

A high school virtual learner faced new and unknown circumstances, including a school environment in a bedroom and the only outlet of social interaction being a Zoom call with teachers and peers. 

Overwhelmed by new changes, online students are confronted with unique difficulties, many of which are tough for students to tackle on their own. These changes can impact their academic performance because students are having a hard time finding solutions to their problems, and on top of that, students have the responsibility to perform well in school and participate in any extracurricular activities. 

One of the biggest hindrances to online learning is the lack of social interaction between students, peers and teachers, which has negatively affected students’ academic performance.

“Normally, when you can talk to people [in person], you can help each other understand [topics],” Coppell High School junior Khushi Gupta said.  “In Zoom calls, whenever [teachers] put us in breakout rooms, a lot of people don’t talk immediately and it is hard to interact with people when you can’t converse as easily.”

According to New York University, social relationships have a direct impact on a student’s academic performance and these relationships have been proven to boost students’ academic motivation, engagement and achievement.

The failure rates for the previous nine weeks occurred when some students were online and participating in distance learning for three weeks. Families had the choice of whether they wanted to return or not, which produced significantly higher failure rates than those from previous years. According to Coppell ISD’s director of communications Amanda Simpson, 66 CHS learners were notified [on Nov. 17] that they were in danger of not passing one of their academic core classes but, considering the second nine weeks, had an opportunity for credit recovery

Since most students are not in person and cannot ask questions immediately after learning a topic, they are finding it more difficult to check their understanding of topics. Although email does provide a solution to this problem, students find it challenging to phrase their questions adequately. 

“When you’re in person, the teacher is there, so if you have questions, you have more access to your teacher, and they can answer anything,” CHS sophomore Hiranya Akarapu said. “But, say you were to run into a problem online, how are you supposed to tell your teacher? And although email does solve this issue, it may be hard for a student to articulate their words clearly.

“Over Zoom…people are hesitant to ask questions which makes it difficult to figure out if you have actually mastered the content being taught.”

Despite the fact that teachers and students alike have adapted to the situation incredibly well, it does not change the fact that online learning is simply not as effective. The lack of social interaction impacts students’ academic performance, and students no longer truly have the ability to ask a question and immediately receive a response from a teacher

With the safety online learning provides, the everyday obstacles seem to trump the benefits and oftentimes make online learning pale in comparison to in person learning.


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