Online Learning During Covid-19 Affecting Post Secondary Studies

Purvi Sharma / May 6, 2020

Babalpreet Gill, studying from home.

Due to COVID-19, all schools across the Lower Mainland put a hold on in class instruction and transitioned into distance education in mid-March.

However, the road to this change has been rather bumpy for some students.

Babalpreet Gill is a 3rd year student studying Criminology at Simon Fraser University. To her, the transition online has been hard. She said she hasn’t been able to connect with her professors as she usually would, and the support when it comes to things like getting questions answered has been seriously lacking.

“Only one of my profs did zoom meetings and the rest were just posting their lectures, and if you had questions you would have to email them which is really frustrating because they’re obviously getting a lot of questions so they’re not going to reply to you right away. So, you have to wait a day or two for an answer back. Whereas if you had office hours or in class discussions you would get your answer right away.”

– Babalpreet Gill, SFU Criminology Student

3rd year SFU Criminology student Babalpreet Gill reacts to distance learning due to COVID-19.

Not only have schools transitioned to distance-based education, but post-secondary institutions across the Lower Mainland also announced that the upcoming summer semester will be remote as well, in order to maintain distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Classes moving online has generated a lot of discussion among students, with a lot of that discussion directly pertaining to tuition costs, something that a lot of students feel as though should be reduced. Schools have been working toward cutting things like activity fees, and Translink is getting rid of mandatory UPASS fees that usually show up on the tuition price break down for post-secondary students.

Adusting to these new changes hasn’t only been hard on students, staff and faculty have also been struggling to make things as normal as possible. British Columbia Institute of Technologies Students Associations’ student advocate Danielle Landeta-Gauthier reached out in an email and said everyones just trying to do their best, but she has heard from concerned students a lot since these changes began.

“We’re hearing a lot that students are struggling with finding motivation to do their schooling online and find that similarly structured class times help. There are challenges with technological issues, which take time to resolve, and these are things students have rarely had to deal with before.”

– Danielle Landeta-Gauthier, BCIT Students Association Student Advocate

As of now, post secondary schools don’t have much choice but to continue providing classes online in order to abide by social distance rules and regulations.

Schools are trying to provide increased mental health support and flexible assignment deadlines at this time, to help students during this unprecedented time. Here are some ways you can take care of your mental health during this pandemic.