So who says online studies are not stressful?

PETALING JAYA: A study by the higher education ministry showed that 78.4% of university students do not feel stressed by having to follow online lessons, but students and lecturers beg to disagree.

Murina Rose Pawanteh, a lecturer at UOW Malaysia KDU, said some of her students felt that a balance between physical classes and online learning was needed.

“Online learning is not a better alternative but it can complement physical learning,” she said. “There should be good classroom management if we are to go fully online in terms of student discipline and infrastructure.”

Another lecturer from UOW Malaysia KDU, Jehan Nabilah Adnan, said that while online learning has improved some aspects of teaching and learning, she still did not agree with the results of the study.

“Students are like any one of us working adults, they too get burnt out and mentally drained,” Jehan said. “Imagine being mentally drained after having to finish three to four assignments per class while preparing for tests or final exams.”

She also said that since online learning was implemented, there has been a significant drop in student results. Their work and socialising qualities have also suffered.

Students also disagreed on the results of the study, with one student from HELP University saying many were still unable to adapt to the new learning environment.

“Students who need more face to face interactions might find it difficult to cope with online learning and can feel stressed,” she said.

“Some students might not be able to focus during online learning because they are not in a conducive environment to learn at home, or they just learn better in a classroom setting.”

Another student from UOW Malaysia KDU said online learning was a nightmare when it came to balancing multiple subjects and assignment deadlines.

“Online learning is also not the better alternative. It limits the amount of socialising a student gets to do compared to being in an actual class,” he added.

When the students were asked what could help improve online learning, the main suggestion was increased interactions.

The HELP University student said the suggestion was for both students and lecturers. She said students should form online study groups to discuss study materials and foster friendship bonds.

Learning from gaming platforms

“On the lecturer’s side, it could be a good idea to invest time to explore gamification platforms such as Kahoot and Nearpod to gauge if students understand the material that is being taught to them,” she said.

Gamification is a strategy for increasing engagement by incorporating game elements into an educational environment.

Lecturers had their own suggestions to improve online learning.

Murina suggested that the online learning infrastructure such as internet access should be improved.

Jehan, on the other hand, suggested personally checking up on students and their progress every now and then.

“If I had a small class, I would take the opportunity by having a one-on-one after class session just to check in with my students, just to see how they’re doing and if they need any extensions and such,” she said.

“We should be kind to one another, be it students or lecturers. We do not know how long this pandemic or online learning will last. In the end, we only have one another to make this journey worthwhile.” — Free Malaysia Today

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