The pros and cons of online learning


When summer ends and fall rolls around, everyone knows school is just around the corner. It’s time to buy backpacks, school supplies and new school clothes. However, this school year is going to be very different for everyone.

Online learning seems to be a new chapter in everyone’s life.

The education environment is learning new methods of how classes will be taught from now on. It’s a change all students will have to grow accustomed to.

I asked some students a few questions about how the new switch has affected them. I bet Urias is a kinesiology major who explained how this switch has affected her learning. “I’m someone who is a hands-on learner. So, for example, my first aid and safety class would have been amazing to learn in person, but with everything going on, I won’t be able to get the same experience. I will still get the same education and knowledge about what to know.”

Many students at College of the Desert have different classes that would have worked better in person than online. Students at COD are learning to adapt to these changes.

Some students find certain online classes to be challenging, just as Urias explained. Few classes require hands-on learning to help students excel.

Some classes do allow you to work at your own pace. COD student Simon Gerardo said his pre-algebra class is much more accessible online because he can move at his own pace. “Sometimes classes can be hard,” said Gerardo, “Either the internet on my end is bad, or the internet on my professors cuts off, and it can be hard to learn like that, especially in my ASL class.”

American Sign Language (ASL) isn’t the only challenge to learn online. Zamarah Diaz, a studio arts major, explains how it can be very difficult for her line of study. “Any form of art class is what I find most difficult to do online. I rather do this in person because, for one, it is my main major. I take it very seriously, and I know others feel the same way. Also, the way we turn in and show our artwork is over the camera and photographed, which will look very different if it was in person.”

College of the Desert students have experienced many difficulties working online, whether presenting a class project, finding a place to learn quietly or cutting off your internet connection. Sometimes online learning can be easy, especially if you can work at your own pace, such as Simon Gerardo said.

Others might find online education distracting or difficult to focus on. Student Mariah Baker, an English major, said online learning is something she is used to but doesn’t prefer. She said she used to do school online for elementary and middle school, “It can be a bit distracting at times because sometimes it can be hard to separate home life from school life.”

It’s understandable where she is coming from because now, for almost everyone, home isn’t just a home anymore. It’s a place of work, study and a place to now learn.

Time management is now playing a big part in people’s lives. Students have to make sure assignments are turned in, and zoom meetings are met on-time, and if they have a job, they must make sure they are punctual.

Studying can be a challenge for most COD students. Students might feel they don’t have a break; some have shared what they do for their time management.

“I am balancing a part-time job and school seven days a week, so the organization has been essential to not fall off track,” said Selena Hernandez, a biology major. “For homework, I always make sure to get it done the day it is assigned, and for studying, I have joined study groups for most of my classes.”

Study groups are ideal for students who might feel they are struggling in certain subjects, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your teachers or classmates; this is a new experience for everyone.

This semester will be different from past semesters. Students will need to get used to being online for every class and stay consistent even more than before. “Most of my day consists of school now; classes online seemed to have a lot more work, in my opinion. It’s hard, but in time I think we’ll all get used to it,” said Shyleen De Leon a studio arts major.

Students may not be able to receive the full experience of school as most have hopped for, but in time things might change a go back to “normal.” Students might be able to go back to school and do their work hands-on again.