Mass communications students have been facing challenges with online learning during the Covid-19 panedmic.
Calgary student Rukkayyah Iman has struggled with distractions while studying online.
Iman, a student from Base University in Abuja, Nigeria says the struggles for her entail “staying focused because you have so many different things that take your attention while you’re in class.”
Social media can also be a distraction as students are not within school premises for lecture. It can be a lot easier to shuffle within apps and have divided attention as you’re left unsupervised.
“You’re not even mentally or physically in the class so it’s really hard to stay focused and then you have your phone in your hand. You can be watching a show, you can be looking at stuff on Twitter or Instagram. It’s really hard to just get that focus really,” said Iman.
Career courses as practical as mass communication require a lot of face-to- face interaction and that can affect the grade and performance level of the student.
Iman said she was shocked as she recently got her grades and it wasn’t what she was expecting because she believed she could succeed in the comfort of her home.
“Recently, I got my results and I found that they weren’t as good as I thought and that made me quite disheartened, because I thought I was actually doing a lot better.
“I wasn’t happy with my recent grades they were a lot better when they weren’t online,” Iman said.
Online classes come with its advantages as well.
You are able to spend more time on yourself and get your mental health in check.
It is important that we adapt to the situation and try and make the best of the new normal which is online class.
“Everything has a good side and a bad side. There is an advantage with the fact that you have more time for yourself and you can easily be doing other things. Its more flexible,” said Iman.
Nevertheless, Iman says “I just miss the physical aspect because I’ve learned better when I’m in a classroom rather than online.
With the new change, it is very important to come up with a coping mechanism and figure out a way to adjust to online learning as this is the new normal.
This is where being disciplined comes into play.
Setting up a to-do list and scheduling your time properly to prepare yourself for classes is a great way to succeed in this trying time.
“I need to remember that the fact that I am in class and this is what I’m doing and try paying more attention and just have more self-discipline, because with online class I feel like you require more self-discipline.” said Iman.
Taking classes online in a country like Nigeria where there isn’t constant electricity can be frustrating because the wi-fi only works when there is power.
Iman said it’s also expensive buying data and that has caused her to spend much more money on Wi-Fi.
“It’s really unfortunate because now I’m spending money either buying mobile data or I have to get a whole Wi-Fi.
“Even with those two, you never know when the network can decide to crash or not be working, and especially now, we have been having quite a lot of conflict in the country and network hasn’t been good,” said Iman.
A word of encouragement is being passed on by Iman as she addresses those who feel like they are still struggling with classes.
“Just get used to the idea and know how to plan your day properly so you can feel like you’ve gotten more out of the day,” she said,
“Make sure you’re more disciplined and you know what you’re doing and know what you’re not supposed to do.
“You know you have this time for school and time for social media and all other things. Don’t mix it up and just keep hanging on, we are going to get through this.”