Post lockdown: reflections on online learning

Molly Judgeon 3 December 2021
Post lockdown: reflections on online learning

Last month, our student panel told us about their experiences with remote learning at university. Here are some of the key findings:

Covid has been a big part of our lives for almost two years now. A lot of those early experiences of lockdown, like Tiger King and only being allowed one walk a day, now feel like a distant memory. Many others still feel very recent though, particularly for students, many of whom spent more than a year studying online with no face-to-face contact. 

It’s been less-than-ideal for students as a whole. However, it is interesting to note that around a fifth of traditional students and three in ten mature students are considering taking an online postgraduate qualification. 

As we look to the future and learn from the past, it’s time to reflect on our time spent learning online:

Attendance is easier when you can learn from your bed

While lectures and seminars are far more engaging in person, it’s undoubtedly a lot harder to turn up when classes start at 9AM on Monday morning in mid-December. It was harder to justify skipping things when you could turn up wrapped up in your duvet.

University costs way too much

It’s widely accepted that universities charge ridiculously high fees for the little contact hours they offer. This criticism was accentuated further when many students were charged the same price for online learning. 

There’s no excuse for not recording lectures

Not all lecturers recorded their classes before the pandemic, but if the last two years taught us anything, it’s that there is no legitimate reason not to do so. Please do better guys!

Uni is best when you can enjoy it with others

As with most things, university is a lot more fun when you’re able to be with your peers. Academically, it allows for more robust discussions, which make classes more engaging. Also, it’s just nice to spend time with your friends!

Online learning means more flexibility

For all the downsides of virtual classes, they were far more practical for many people, particularly those balancing jobs or children with their studies. It also saves students from having to rent in expensive areas. This is particularly important when you remember that many students have fewer than ten contact hours, spread unevenly throughout the week. If there is a benefit to come from lockdown, it’s the increasing accessibility and credibility of online courses.

Groups presentations are always awful

Group presentations were terrible enough in person, but online learning has proved once and for all that there’s no way to improve them.

Want to share your student experiences with us? Sign up to our student panel to earn vouchers and rewards for voicing your opinions.

Molly Judgeon 3 December 2021