The Online Learner: The Struggles of Online Learning


Lee Cline, Reporter/Writer

The Struggles of Online Learning

This year has been difficult for everyone. Students, teachers, and parents alike are battling the long-term effects of COVID-19 and relearning the approach to everyday life. Our new way of learning has been an eye-opening and stressful experience for us all, but especially for remote learners.
Unlike in-person students, remote learners are often left to teach themselves the material. Adding to the already stressful task of being your own motivator, checklist, and weekly planner. Getting up every morning, making your own meals, starting your course work, and staying on task is daunting and sometimes overwhelming. For many students, the difficulty of online learning doesn’t lie only in the material, but the feeling of loneliness that accompanies learning remotely.

In-person vs. online
For subjects like math, art, and science, where hands-on and in-person explanations are almost required to retain the material, online learning can feel hopeless and frustrating. Especially when teachers may take hours to email you back. Other classes such as choir or band can leave you feeling left out, and like you aren’t able to grasp the material without a demonstration or help and encouragement from your friends.

Technological issues
For many students in southern West Virginia, a stable internet connection is a scarce resource, and for some, it isn’t available at all. This makes online learning difficult for many reasons. Getting your assignments turned in on time and communicating with your teachers. Although, we can download the assignments to our computers to finish throughout the nine weeks, using the internet to research a study topic or use it as a refresher from the past year is out of the question.

Being social from home
When asked what the hardest part of online schooling is, a Greenbrier West senior said the following: “Its not even the school work, it’s the fact that I can’t see any of my friends or family. It makes the already stressful online schooling part even worse.” I agree with him. Workload, loneliness, and frustration can lead you down a difficult path to navigate. Not being able to just raise your hand to ask a question, worrying that you’ve missed an assignment for the week, keeping yourself motivated and the feeling of isolation are the worst parts of being an online learner.

Online learning is one of the hardest parts of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, and hopefully, with the colder months soon to come, the number of cases will drop. We’ll get a vaccine that is readily available to the public. We will no longer have to live in fear of infecting our loved ones and we will become stronger students. To close, here is my favorite haiku:

“We isolate now / So when we gather again / No one is missing.” – Maria Marom