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Students reflect on a semester of online learning

by Rhea Giuliana December 8, 2020
Students reflect on a semester of online learning

The benefits and challenges will most likely persist in the winter semester

With the fall 2020 semester coming to an end, the effects of online school are being felt by many. The semester has presented benefits and challenges for all those involved. How did students handle this, and what did they think of the fall 2020 semester?

Kelly Marie, a student in Recreation and Leisure Studies, enrolled in three classes this semester.

Marie stated that she felt “relieved that I didn’t have the added stress of having to go into school everyday and worry about increasing [my] chances of getting the virus,” when she found out that her classes would be remote.

For Marie, one of the biggest challenges of a remote semester is online textbooks. She said, “[my] eyes get tired and I get headaches from it.”

Chloë Lalonde, the creative director of The Concordian and a student in the faculty of Fine Arts and Arts and Science, enrolled in four classes for the fall semester.

When they found out that the term would be going online, they stated that they were “disappointed, but not surprised.”

When asked how the pandemic has affected their work for The Concordian, they stated that, “We typically work remotely so it didn’t change too much.” They also mentioned that there were changes that needed to be made because no print issues were being published this semester.

For Lalonde, the things that they like the least about having a remote semester are “[the] group projects, [the] lack of space to work in fine arts classes, [and] no internships.”

Omnia Gomaa, a student in Software Engineering, who is also a member of the Women in STEM at Concordia group, said that she was “stressed about not being able to study in a team as [she] used to in previous terms.”

For her, the best part about having an online semester was “Not having to go through the struggle of commuting.” The idea of not travelling to work was echoed in Marie’s response as well.

Women in STEM At Concordia is a new student club, and because of COVID-19, the way their group operates is not typical. Gomaa said that the pandemic has impacted the way their activities are run, which is true for all clubs this semester at Concordia.

According to her, “All activities have been done online, resulting in us having late replies from people we reach out to and technical issues. This includes everything from a weak internet connection to people’s busy schedules.”

She also believes that this group is necessary during this time because “It encourages young women to stay motivated and pursue their dreams, even during hard times. Doing this sets a good example for the younger generation, teaching them not to give up easily even when faced with difficulties.”

For Gomaa, the remote delivery of the semester was a bit of a challenge at first. Despite this, she said, “It really helps to always look at the bright side and see how [someone] can benefit from situations like the one we are currently in.”

Each of the students interviewed were asked to rate their semester experience on a scale of one to 10, one being an awful experience and 10 being outstanding. Lalonde rated her experience a six, Gomaa and Marie both rated it a seven. These numbers suggest that while the experience was not perfect, it wasn’t downright awful either.

The choice to go online made by Concordia seemed to be the only real option during the pandemic. This semester, though sometimes enjoyable, also contained challenges that students faced. These benefits and challenges will most likely persist in the winter semester as well. 


Graphic by @ariannasiviria

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