A different way to learn

Students complete assignments for eLearning.


Photo courtesy of flickr.com.

ELearning, or electronic learning, is the conveyance of education through online coursework.

   On Friday, Nov. 11 students will log onto Canvas and find assignments to complete remotely for each of their classes. These assignments are part of an eLearning day, which HSE Schools use for staff professional development, or to make up instructional time.

   Indiana law currently allows for three built-in eLearning days throughout the school year, but senior Aiyanna Allen believes there should be more.

   “I feel like it has helped [and] it’s beneficial to the teachers and the students,” Allen said. “It gives teachers a way to have meetings that aren’t at seven in the morning…and it gives students a day to just decompress but still be able to learn.”

   Senior Sophie Schoch is on the other end of the spectrum and feels she is not learning much from the quick tasks she is being asked to complete.

   “The teachers mostly give busy work instead of new material,” Schoch said. “Most of the time it’s a 10-minute assignment instead of a 30-minute assignment. That’s what my experience has been; or it’s just for [turning in] missing assignments, which is nice when you have them, but I feel like the time in [targeted instruction] that we have is there for that.”

   To help students absorb more of the material, Schoch suggests teachers should attempt to make remote learning feel similar to in-person teaching.

   “I would just change [what we are doing for] the assignments,” Schoch said. “A lot of them are busy work. So I feel like incorporating a lecture video or something, would count as a real class instead of just doing an assignment that we already did in class the previous day.”

   With a block schedule, students attend three to four classes each day, as opposed to an eLearning day that consists of all seven periods. Even with the added classes, Allen says she does not see much of a change in the workload.

  “It’s just notes or practice or just [finishing what we did] in class,” Allen said. “Some of my teachers have given online quizzes before, so I’d say it’s around the same amount of work.“

   Although teachers set due dates for these eLearning assignments, students still have the flexibility in determining when in this timeframe they will complete them. Schoch says that this longer timeframe can be difficult to manage.

   “I think the most challenging part is just trying to stay focused because you’re at home,” Schoch said. ”It’s kind of like a flashback to Covid. You don’t have any motivation to do the work because it feels like a day off, and most of us just save it up for Sunday night. [This creates] more work, because we had our homework due from Thursday probably due the next week as well.”

   For some, the flexibility of the day provides a break from a normal school schedule; but Allen acknowledges that this way of learning is not for everyone.

   “If you’re a kid that doesn’t do well outside of that structured classroom environment, you might not do [well with] the eLearning,” Allen said. ”I’ve known a few people that, when we were completely virtual or when we had multiple eLearning days, just didn’t thrive in that environment. So, if you thrive more in a classroom environment, it might not be the best solution.”