Online Learning: Professors are Doing their Best

The rapid switch to online learning due to COVID-19 has proven difficult not only for students but for teachers as well. Professors who predominantly taught through lectures or labs have had to completely restructure their class style to accommodate their students. While there have undoubtedly been struggles and mishaps along the way, I believe most professors have done their best to try and adapt to online teaching.

Students need to understand how hard it has been for professors to adapt to online teaching. For many, they have not had to work with Blackboard or other forms of technology before, so naturally they are going to struggle.

My friend is a freshman psychology major and shared with me that the technology gap has been the hardest struggle for her professors, and therefore for her as well. It has been overwhelming for her to keep track of all the different platforms they have been using. I’ve also been going through the semester with a professor who doesn’t understand the internet well. He is not the best at responding to emails and uploads content onto Blackboard rarely, randomly and with cryptically named assignments. However, he understands his faults and tries to do the best he can, and is adopting a more flexible grading curve when calculating our final grades.

Despite this situation, my professors have been extremely accommodating in their attempts to make up for their lack of technological knowledge. Something that students should be more aware of is that these professors were forced home just like us, and while the current method of teaching is not ideal for anyone, there is nothing the professors can do about it.  

The worst part of online learning is undoubtedly the decrease in the quality of learning. While I had an easy semester this spring, I know that I am not learning nearly as much as I would be if I was physically in my classes. Compared to sitting through three hours of class for history, I now only have a 300-word assignment due each week.

Myself and another friend of mine who is a junior fine arts major, have both noticed that a lot of professors have had to change their course load — especially for classes that were project-based. My friend and I have both noticed a decrease in our quality of learning — as online classes do not make up for an in-person experience — and  we’ve had little interaction with other students.

However, this decrease in learning is not the fault of the professors. They are going from interacting with students in-person and gauging their reactions, to an online meeting at best, where the students may not even turn on their cameras. While it is easy to take out our anger on professors, students must understand what it is like from their point of view.

COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise and has caused turmoil and hardship in everyone’s lives — including professors. While it is easy to point out their flaws, we must all remember that they are doing their best and they weren’t given much time to figure this shift to online classes out. Remote learning has been a new experience for everyone and, while it is difficult, the fault of the issue does not lie with professors.