STA’s Student Online Experience

By Alexandra Margelu, Riley Hilbert, and John Kinney
SEPT 25, 2020

Online School has become the new norm for many high schoolers in the United States, including STA (Saint Thomas Aquinas) students. With this new form of learning being the main source of educational improvement and communication, many individuals have different outlooks and experiences. Online schooling is a must at a time like this, where person to person contact has to be limited. Raider Review sent out a survey to the STA student body, and of the students surveyed, around 90% preferred traditional in-person schooling, while the remaining 10% preferred online school.

Students’ opinions of online schooling are affected by variables such as their home environment, internet connection, teachers’ teaching methods, etc. The pros and cons differ depending on each student and school. For example, at STA most students love the ten minute break periods instead of the previous five minute break period as well as the free time from not driving to school and open note tests/quizzes. The positive attributes of online school were counterbalanced with negatives such as disconnecting wifi, lack of classmate/teacher connections, the inability to have in-person discussions, and multiple home distractions. Some students surveyed even said they disliked “everything” or “all of the above.” 

With so many new technologies and ways of communication, it’s getting easier for the online experience to match that of the traditional classroom; however, students are still resistant towards online learning and prefer classroom learning. A national research study of college students, conducted by USA Today showed 78% of more than 1,000 students surveyed believed it is easier to learn in a classroom. Most students think it’s better to learn in person as there are less distractions, real person to person interactions, and an established relationship with the teacher.

Covid-19 has had a world-wide effect, especially on students. The educational system has had to make many changes to incorporate CDC guidelines into the classroom. Increasing cases throughout America have forced many school districts to embrace virtual learning, and some will continue to do so until numbers decrease or a vaccine is developed.