The Impact of Online Learning on High Schoolers (2020/08/12)

The corona-virus pandemic (COVID-19) has disrupted many functions of our daily lives, mainly education. Earlier this March, schools shut down and transitioned into an online environment for the safety of staff members and students. As a result of the increasing trend in cases, almost all schools have currently announced that they will continue with online learning environments. However, many students have their own thoughts and opinions on the effectiveness of online learning, its impact on their academic performance, their motivation to learn, and its drawbacks.

The Islamic Leadership Institute of America’s outreach program created a survey in order to gather youth’s opinion and feedback. Upon conducting a survey among youth ages 14 to 18, the overall average rating of online schooling was 2.8 out of 5. Social interaction was the most missed thing about in-person learning. When asking the teens what they felt was the worst part of online learning, the most common answers included the fact that learning online just wasn’t as engaging. Over 57% of the students felt as if they were now less motivated to learn and to complete their assignments than before the start of online learning.

The students also believed that the workload being assigned to them was much higher while the instruction time decreased. “I wish they could limit the amount of assignments they can give us or the amount of time they have to give us assignments,” stated a 16 year old female. Almost all students agreed that the best part of online school was the fact that they were granted more independence, and the ability to work in the comfort of their home. However, some teenagers felt as if having more independence posed as a challenge since they work better with guided help.

The youth were also presented with the question: “Have you developed any negative habits as a result of learning online and being at-home since March 2020? If yes, share those habits”. Most answered with procrastination. Teens are much more probable to delay completion of their assignments in an online environment since they are more accessible to distractions, and aren’t taking online school as seriously as in-person learning. It is important that this feedback is received by the community, schools and teachers, so that students can receive the highest quality level of education.

This survey was created to collect youths input on the effectiveness of online schooling. It was sent out to high school youth across Maryland who attended both public and private schools. Students were asked about their opinions on online learning and how they could improve their experience.