How Online Learning Formats Affect Student Performance

How Online Learning Formats Affect Student Performance

Colleges in California have been forced to switch to an all Zoom online format. Some students have a hard time learning in an online environment. This is due to multiple reasons.

One of the most common problems is that the lack of in-person contact has made classes seem longer during lockdown.

“I only have three more classes to finish before being eligible to transfer, but lockdown has prolonged this,” said Sky Lo Vasco, a Victor Valley College (VVC) English major. Lo Vasco feels that the new online format has affected her motivation in a negative way. She normally enjoys an in-person environment. “I feed off of the other students energy, and I ask as many questions as I need in order to understand something,” said Lo Vasco.

A lot students who are used to in-person classes are feeling this same way. “I’ve become depressed and feel like I am not smart enough because this is not my style of learning,” said Lo Vasco. The lack of motivation and discipline Lo Vasco has encountered has resulted in her dropping out of two classes, leaving her still enrolled only in one.

The pressure can  be even more significant in the Cal State University school system. “I feel a disconnection between myself and my teachers as well as other students in my class,” said Shelby Clarke, a first semester student pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Cal State San Bernardino. “In my group communication class, it feels that we are at a disadvantage because it is harder to get together over Zoom versus communicating in person.”

Cal State University San Bernardino
student Shelby Clarke

Clarke found herself logging on to her Zoom classes then becoming distracted by laundry, cleaning, and other house chores while trying to multitask. “I lost focus on the whole lecture period which is resulting in my grades dropping,” said Clarke.

The online Zoom format has been good, giving students more free time to work or spend with family. However, it has also caused negative behavior in some students. It is a different style of learning that not everyone can succeed in, and sometimes the students quit rather than trying to push through because it is too challenging for them. Grades for some students have dropped tremendously because it is much more difficult to find a routine on your own to stay on top of your work.

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