How Effective Is Online Learning In Simulating a Real Classroom?


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In light of the spread of COVID-19, many American schools are switching to using online video calls as a method to teach students while saying safe. These calls have been effective for me because they have allowed me to interact with the teacher in real time. Teachers can update me  and post assignments neatly and clearly, thus allowing online learning to simulate a real classroom environment when teachers utilize the tills right. In my opinion, the closer online can simulate a real life classroom, the more effective online learning can be, because of the fact that most students are all used to real classes. 

Zoom is a video conferencing app made to connect people in live meetings. The reason why Zoom has been effective in classes for me in my experience it does a good job at simulating a real classroom. With HD camera footage, and the ability to hold large scale live meetings, it’s great for large classes to learn together, just as if they were meeting in person.  Being able to engage in live conversation over the internet is a great way to simulate face to face learning. This is especially true for students who like to learn in groups. In my personal class experience, live video calls can also benefit in receiving feedback and constructive criticism, as the teachers are responding to what students are saying in real time. Also we are now in high school, so most of us have been learning with the same set of classmates for years. As a student, I feel that being placed in a classroom with many of my friends helps me perform better, and because our class is recorded, other students can not really be disruptive.Therefore online learning has been effective in simulating a real classroom because we use live video calls to communicate rather than assigning work strictly asynchronously.

In my personal experience, Zoom does a good job in helping teachers utilize online learning to somewhat keep it similar to learning in a classroom environment. A study by Stanford University showed that face to face communication has subtle benefits which can change behavior when typing text behind a screen. These changes include taking a more safe approach and being more detailed when answering questions. This proves that online learning can be effective because, by using online video calls, students can be much more detailed and genuine in their responses. 

Using Schoology and other learning platforms also can provide different learning experiences which can help teachers give students a variety in learning. When a teacher uploads on schoology, it helps me keep my everything in one place, and gives more control over my work and helps keep me on track. If an assignment is missed, a teacher can privately email, or send a text via Remind to the student to provide individual feedback. A teacher can also reply to virtual work with feedback and constructive criticism. Schoology helps me stay connected with the teacher and keeps work organized and scheduled, therefore in my experience, teachers properly using online learning can easily replicate the experiences in a real classroom.

Other websites are also commonly used by teachers to try and keep students engaged and active in class. Websites like Kahoot, Nearpod, and Quizizz are all used by teachers to provide breaks from lectures. These breaks are essential in real life classrooms and are done through fun activities and projects. Online learning however is limited in its ability to engage students, but these types of websites are easily accessible and provide a great platform for teachers to teach their students. Of course these platforms can’t always be used, or else students will never learn, but in my experience, every once in a while a fun Kahoot doesn’t hurt. Rather, Kahoot benefits me in keeping me engaged and active in class and makes learning fun, and I’m sure many students agree, as every classroom I have been in lights up whenever we are doing Kahoot. When teachers do not provide these fun activities, school becomes very dull, and in my experience a dull classroom makes me not want to learn and affects my work to the point that words come in one ear and out the other. Due to the fact that teachers made online learning fun for me and many of my peers, while still teaching students what they need to learn, online learning can keep students engaged in their classes.

Although some people may think that online learning is not effective because students can just ignore the teacher, I believe that students will stay engaged if the teacher can keep them engaged. This can be done by using the tools mentioned above, group activities, and asking questions to make sure students aren’t slacking off. It can also be said that teachers who aren’t good at teaching online can affect the learning process. This can also be said for real life learning, therefore showing this problem isn’t only an issue for online. In my experience, teachers have had very little problems with online, and most teachers do a good job using online tools in classes.

COVID-19 has affected many teachers and how they teach, yet many online teaching tools can be used to engage students. The combination of fun learning websites and effective video calls show that online learning has the potential to be effective when it comes to the learning process and engaging students. One way students can make online learning even more effective for the whole classroom is if more students turn on their webcam and unmute their mic to engage in the class. This is because many teachers may not be adapted to talking to blank screens, and turning on your webcam can make this much more personal. Another thing that can help is if teachers utilize more online tools to keep students engaged. With all of these different tools at teachers disposal, using them effectively keeps the learning more active.