Find Quiet Space and Make Study Plans in Distance Learning, Students Say

Screenshot of a login screen for a Google Meet. Photo by Nicolas Ni.

While students may have preferred to return to school, some have been worried about being infected and chose to study at home. Other students still returned to school to study under the hybrid model where they are at school for five days in a row and then learn from home for five days at a time. 

The Ontario Ministry of Education notified some school boards to offer a hybrid learning model and a full distance learning model for students to sign up for before the start of school in September.

Shawn L. is a grade 10 student at WCI, and when school started in September, he wanted to choose hybrid learning, but his parents were afraid that he would be infected with COVID-19 when he returned to school, so he chose distance learning.

Shawn said, “We are now very successful in online classes. The teacher is also very serious in teaching us, and now we have reached the last unit of learning. We also participate in meetings to communicate with teachers, and we are also familiar with the online course software use.”

In order to better manage time, Shawn planned a learning method for himself, recording what he needs to do every day, and completing it step by step. He does not use his phone during the class time in order to prevent it from affecting his focus, and so that he can actively communicate with teachers and classmates. 

In order to allow students to study successfully at home, Shawn suggests that students have a designated study area so that they can be in  a quiet environment for students to study and complete their work.

Shawn thinks that going back to school would better than taking online lessons because, in his opinion, it is more efficient to learn in school as it is easier to communicate with teachers and classmates.

 Shawn logs in to Google Meets with his class. Photo contributed by Shawn L.

Eric C. is another grade 10 student at WCI. As the number of cases of COVID-19 in Canada gradually increased, Eric’s parents decided to let him study at home because they agreed it would be safer.

He is now at home all day, waking up in the morning to join Google Meets, and finishing his homework in the afternoon. Eric says, “I’m doing online classes very well. This semester is about to end soon. We participate in Google Meet at the same time every day, complete homework on time, and actively communicate with teachers during class.”

In order to better learn and manage his time, Eric planned a study worksheet, and wrote down the things to be completed every day in the time period that should be completed. 

His advice to students learning at home is similar to Shawn’s: Stay alone in a room and turn off your mobile phone during class in order to better focus on the teacher. 

Eric proposes that students can carefully plan a worksheet or plan, which allows students to know what to do in the day and in at time to complete each task.

Although learning at home has been successful for Eric, he also still thinks that going back to school in person could help him learn better because he could have more fun in school and interact with classmates and teachers. Studying at home makes him feel bored and leads to decreased learning productivity, according to Eric.

 Eric’s set-up at home allows him to focus. Photo contributed by Eric C.

Both of these students suggest that a routine, ignoring cellphones, and working in quiet spaces is important for being successful while learning at home. But they both agree that learning in-person would have its advantages: being able to interact with, and learn from, friends and teachers in person.