What I’m Learning from Online Learning – OurWarwick
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What I’m Learning from Online Learning

Sophie Frankpitt | English Language and Linguistics with Intercalated year Contact Sophie

From the five-year olds in reception classes to university students, online learning has been the main source of education for all of us. And whilst we have some lovely virtual communities, online learning unsurprisingly has its challenges. Some days, the culmination of crashing Wifi, social isolation, and high levels of screen time can result in equally high levels of anxiety. In these moments, I find it helpful to remember that the skills we are learning now will benefit us in the future.

As schools have mostly now returned and universities remain mostly online, I decided that it would be a good opportunity to consider what all students can take away from our online learning experiences. 

Independence and Responsibility 

After a few months of rainy lockdown days, we’ve all had to be inventive, and take responsibility for creating a good learning environment. Whether that’s building in structured breaks, or setting times for pre-recorded lectures, we’ve learnt how to time-manage in a year where time seems to have lost all meaning. We’ve had to be independent, learning how to learn physically on our own and virtually together. We’ve learnt how to combat screen fatigue, taking responsibility for making the most of seminars and lectures, in the knowledge that contact and discussion has more benefits than simply the educational. We have, in essence, grown both independently and as communities.

Confidence in Your Abilities

Also, we’ve developed confidence in a multitude of new ways – and I don’t think this is recognised enough. Many people have gained the confidence to speak in front of people online, share their ideas with people they have never met in person, or even, in fact, trusted their own ability to work out how to share a screen. Just over a year ago, this might have been pretty intimidating. We’ve had to place confidence in our abilities to navigate a new world – and for the most part, that confidence has been well-placed.

Understanding Your Learning Style 

There’s no quicker way to find out that you learn best through discussion when you’re suddenly working from home. Whilst I remember this was daunting to start with, discussion in the seminars allowed those of us who learn through talking to do just that. The lack of general interaction at the moment means that the value of seminars or group calls is suddenly much higher; we’ve learnt how imperative it is to work together. 

Similarly, we’ve been able to discover what time of day suits us best to learn – be it midnight or early morning. We’ve learnt how to alter education to fit in with us, and fit in with the situation.

Adaptability and Creativity

If this year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of adaptability. We’ve adapted to using Teams everyday, using Google Docs for group work alongside hours-long calls, and lecturers and students alike have found innovative ways to make online content engaging and interactive. This unprecedented need for creativity in how we learn can surely only set us up well for the future.

Resilience

Even amidst ‘unprecedented’ circumstances, we have found ways to learn, build communities, and develop a multitude of new skills. We may still be facing plenty of challenges, but at least, now, the pandemic has already shown us just how resilient we can be.  

Sophie Frankpitt | English Language and Linguistics with Intercalated year Contact Sophie

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