Voices Of Youth

Forum: Limits of online learning

A laptop being used.
A laptop being used.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

I am a Singaporean who has lived and studied overseas for nearly my entire life. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my school started online learning in February. After three months of it, I am convinced that online learning is not sustainable, in spite of its benefits.

For instance, during my online learning stint, I could choose to complete my work at any time between when it was assigned and the deadline. Because of this greater flexibility, I could get more sleep, focus more on certain subjects and less on others, and study whenever I felt like it.

In the beginning, I really enjoyed it. I savoured my freedom to do work at any time during the day and was happy that I could save time travelling to and from school.

A huge disadvantage of online learning is the lack of interaction and motivation from peers and teachers. When in school, it is easy to complain about schoolwork with friends. This relieves a lot of stress because I know my peers and I are in the same boat.

However, with online learning, I felt quite alone with my problems, and my inability to pour out my complaints to a friend made work seem repulsive. There is social media, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction when trying to express your feelings.

Perhaps online and classroom learning could be combined, with students going to school for three days and having online learning for two days every week.

Tan Xin Yi, 18

Waiting to enter university

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2020, with the headline 'Limits of online learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe