University students feeling overwhelmed with demand of online learning
FREDERICTON -- With mid-term season approaching, post-secondary students who returned to classes in September are still facing big challenges.
It’s been a difficult semester for students who had to take on the challenge of online learning to complete post-secondary courses.
Learning a new way of learning has been a rocky road for a lot of students who are used to classrooms and face-to-face interactions.
Taking that communication online, on top of course work, has had an immense effect on assignments.
"So, things like discussion posts, online forums, but the accumulation of all of that engagement between students' classes has resulted in students feeling very overwhelmed," says Madeleine Stinson, president of the Dalhousie Student Union.
Stinson also says there are added challenges for international students in different time zones who have to wake up to attend online classes in the middle of the night.
The challenges aren’t just for students; professors are also feeling the crunch.
Karen Robert is a history professor, and these days she's taken on the role of remote teaching co-ordinator at St. Thomas University.
"It's been a lot of frustration, a lot of exhaustion, a lot of feelings of helplessness to have to relearn how to do your job and it's never just a matter of technology you actually have to redesign the courses you can't just slap them into a video format," Robert said.
Robert has heard from many of her colleagues who have been teaching for decades, who say this year feels like it's their first year teaching.
And for some students, it's likely their first time taking an online exam.
"Testing online is also another big issue because it can be hard to focus," said UNB student union president Sean Mackenzie. "We don’t know somebody could be taking a test, what internet issues they may have, a lot of students live in houses with other people so if you have three people taking a video lecture online at the same time as that test it could have a big impact."
It's an impact that's not lost on Robert, who says she's cut out a section of her curriculum to allow students time to catch up and, catch their breath, this week.