By: Emma Nelson
Virtual learning was a big deal in 2020, for students and teachers alike. Kids had to adapt to a completely new setting for their classroom. This change raised a lot of questions about how these students are learning in this new environment.
In a recent speech given by Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt, he claimed, “at OKCPS, 66% more high school students have an F in one of their classes compared to last year.” So, do Jenks students feel like they have the proper resources in order to succeed?
We asked the teacher in charge of managing the virtual classes, Mary-Frances Hemm, about her expectations for the virtual students.
When we asked her about how much time should be spent on virtual work, Hemm said “Students enrolled in a virtual course should expect to spend the same amount of time on their course as they would for an in-person course (approximately one hour per school day).” She also says, “Virtual courses are very doable if students keep up with their assignment calendar.”
But do the students agree that it is this simple?
The torch interviewed two students, Safarez Khan and Jaden Walderich. Both were students enrolled in virtual through edgenuity for the first semester.
First we asked them if they thought the system the school set up worked well. “To put it bluntly, no,” said Walderich. “I was quite dissatisfied with how virtual turned out. Overall The program that was used was quite out of date.”
Khan says he felt like he didn’t get the same education he would have gotten from in-person classes.
“It goes over an entire unit in just a couple of short videos,” Khan goes on to say, “You can’t ask questions like you could in a normal classroom.” He then added, “It’s the same thing over and over again, lecture, assignment then quiz, over and over again”
Walderich seemed to have a similar take on this idea saying,”[It] Was quite difficult to keep up at times and required far more effort than it did in person, and despite that, I feel like I learned less.”
Regarding time management for these students, it seems to be a struggle for some. The amount of time students spend on virtual varys but it seems some students are given too much to handle
“Usually between 35 minutes and an hour per class. Whole day lasts anywhere from 3-6 hours.”
The other participant says this though, “I feel like the workload at times was overwhelming. One of my classes had almost daily quizzes, which made it extremely difficult to keep up and adequately be prepared to take the quiz…Every class had roughly two a week. Making up on average 2-3 quizzes a day. Which felt unfair to me. I’d spend anywhere from 8-10 hours on average everyday doing school work.”
Overall the students seem to agree the teachers are not the ones to blame here but instead the software used.
“I’d urge Jenks to find a more suitable platform and offer more support to students at home,” Walderich explained. “I don’t have a problem with virtual learning in general and I would actually encourage Jenks to explore virtual learning more in the future, but edgenuity is not the solution in my opinion.”