I asked two of my students how they felt about online T&L. Here's what they had to say...
Student 1: Learning online is something that I haven’t ever taken part in before, even working from home it isn’t something that I have ever done. I realised pretty quickly that separating uni from home is a good idea, so setting up a desk elsewhere where I can go and get my work done and then leave that area.
Learning online is a lot less stressful than I imagined, however I do miss the face to face contact. There is something about being on campus and being in lectures that makes me feel more up to date with my studies, regardless of how I'm getting on with them. I also miss lectures!! I miss sitting listening to a lecturer and watching them talk about the topic, doing it online isn’t the same and I don’t feel like I'm learning as much online as I would in a lecture. Also, finding the time to do your lectures is important as you don’t get an online time to log in and view them you just do them online before the seminar, so if you don’t do the lecture beforehand you can struggle with the online seminar. But other than that, the emails and contacting staff has been great and they get back to us really quickly and couldn’t do more to support you.
I also prefer that exams are based at home this year, exams are a very anxious and stressful time for everyone and I feel a lot more at ease in my home and a lot more confident as I don’t have other students around me to judge.
Studying from home has been different to what I expected, but I am absolutely loving it every step of the way is new and it's not as scary and stressful as I originally thought, it's actually great and of course saving money on petrol is a bonus!
Student 2: When it comes to learning online, I was very apprehensive, as I truly believed this was going to have a negative impact on my work. I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised to say the least. It has been different in various ways, some negative but mostly positive.
For me there have been two negatives, no interaction with other students, I used to like being able to voice my concerns about certain aspects of my work or just look for reassurance. The other is not being able to go to the lecturers after a seminar to clarify anything that may not be so clear at that moment in time.
The positives, however, outweigh the negatives, I enjoy the work at home as I feel less stressed not having to make my way into university during rush hour sometimes, or let's be honest even staying in my pyjamas can be good on occasion. But on a more serious note, I feel that I have been able to take in more through the slides and the lecturers talking through them. If I feel I missed something I can always go back unlike in a lecture, there is only so quickly you can write. I feel that the lecturers have done a great job, especially with these strange circumstances. So far when I have needed to contact a lecturer, they have gotten back to me fairly quickly which was one of my fears but up to now it seems to be an unfounded one.
As much as being in university is good and it is really good to have the comrade of the other students, I do not feel I am lacking when it comes to my studies and I genuinely believe it is down to the work the lecturers have put in to make this time as smooth and disruption free as possible.