by Rathin Shah
Transitions from in-person to online learning may be difficult, studies suggest the possibility that online learning could prove to be a superior alternative to in-person learning.
Despite what one may think, online learning is shown to contribute to higher student satisfaction. A study was done surveying online and in-person college students to measure student satisfaction with online learning compared to face-to-face learning methods. The study concludes "student performance is at least as good as, if not slightly better, in the Online Learning mode when compared to the face to face mode.” Another study looked at students around the world who participated in an online mental wellness course and found the students who participated in the course exhibited more positive feelings based on a survey done for all of the students in the program. Perhaps if schools were to adopt these types of mental health/wellness classes total student happiness could rise.
Through the technologies online learning has brought, students have been able to learn more easily and effectively. Constantine, a student at Washington University in St. Louis replied when asked about how Online Learning may have helped him, “Online learning has made meeting with groups a bit easier because you can meet at obscure times, like later at night, without having to find a specific place that’s still open.” This aspect of video calling can allow students to fit more activities into their schedule because meeting times are more adaptable. In-person meetings are a lot harder to coordinate and make up. Sayani, a student at Georgetown University stated, “One benefit I have noticed is that some professors utilize their PowerPoints more often, which is extremely helpful when It comes time to studying the material.” This method of teaching is not commonplace among in-person environments and allows students like Sayani to be able to reference back to meetings to study more efficiently.
Though online learning at its current state may not be perfect, it is capable of benefiting students in the future with more students attending online learning programs because of the various advantages it can bring.