Taking online classes became a big topic for those still learning and working toward a degree or certification. In response to social distancing laws, face-to-face learning classes were prohibited, and virtual classrooms were used as a substitute. So here we are in this interactive and digital age where our time is in our own hands, and learning seemingly became an option, unlike before when it was actually a need.
Some argue that because of online classes, students nowadays are becoming lazy and losing interest in learning. Educators are no longer around them for a specific amount of time in the day, thus feeling little to no pressure to study independently. Because they hold their own time, many are tempted to waste it on other less important things instead of using it for studying as part of self-improvement.
But these kinds of arguments rely on putting pressure on students instead of encouraging them to find their unique way of learning. According to The History of Online Schooling, long-distance learning has been around since the mid 19th century. Good education doesn’t depend on the medium of teaching but on the willingness of a student to learn. We have to trust them to use their time wisely.
So instead of looking at the downsides of attending online classes, one should look at it as a tool for self-discipline and taking responsibility, something many of us overlook.
Time Management and Independence
According to a 2019 study, effective time management is the foundation of all good student habits. In terms of virtual learning, students are compelled to manage their time in the best way possible. Almost everyone went through the struggle of having to study for different things all in the same day. But online classes pose this new challenge of being given a chance not to do your work at all. Because the teacher is not looking over their shoulders all the time, they will have to make their own choice between doing what is asked of them, which is to study, or doing another completely unrelated task that might not be beneficial to their learning at all.
As beings who learn from our mistakes, students who choose the lesser option will ultimately be met with some consequences such as tasks piling up or poor academic performance, which they will hate and most likely avoid. Soon they will eventually find that finishing important tasks early will give them more time to lounge around and propagate any of their likes and hobbies.
This applies to those who study while working. Students who work as assistants, sitters, servers, and baristas have to physically be in their workplaces, making it difficult to study properly. It is a challenge to juggle two separate things simultaneously, let alone excel in both, so the way they manage their time is constantly put to the test. The redeeming part is that whenever they are subjected to that kind of pressure, they hone an essential skill that will last a lifetime.
Owning up to Choices Made
Instead of being pushed to finish their tasks, afraid of the consequence of an angry or disappointed professor, students are now motivated to work towards their own goals. They should be eager to do their tasks because every possible material is at their fingertips. Being left to their own resources, they would have no one to blame for their failures but themselves, along with the decisions they made.
Having this sense of responsibility is important, especially in the medical community during a pandemic. Training as nurse assistants who can work within nursing homes or as physical therapists who are constantly touching the hearts of people of all ages, consistently making the right choice of upholding all safety measures can and will save lives. This also applies to other hands-on jobs like the beauty industry, where keeping tools sterile is necessary.
Training for Real Life
Although it sounds negative that students have to do everything themselves, they are actually preparing for the reality of life. They will have to become working individuals who can contribute to society while still being productive in their own way.
It might be hard to believe that simply taking online classes will teach us crucial things in life. But we must look at it from this perspective that virtual classrooms are still normal schools stripped down to the core of an instructor imparting knowledge to a group of people. In the past, going to a physical place where we interacted with teachers and classmates taught us many little values and lessons apart from the actual curriculum. But now, it is apparent that these small lessons actually helped shape us into who we are.