My Opinion: Distance Learning Needs Work

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On March 30, LCU began its new approach to education through what is called “distance learning.” I strongly believe this approach facilitates opportunity for academic failure. Through a lack of easily unprompted miscommunication, a student’s success now relies strongly on chance.

The U.S. federal government as well as most state governments recently issued guidelines limiting all forms of public and social activities to stop the spread of COVID-19. Universities nationwide, including Lubbock Christian University, have implemented distance learning. Professors are now teaching their classes from isolation through innovative online platforms.

Opportunities for miscommunication

The ways my professors have adapted to distance learning is through one of two approaches: either they schedule online video conferences with the rest of the class throughout the week or they assign a new syllabus and post it along with any assignments to Moodle. These advances are highly ineffective in fulfilling students’ education requirements because there are so many opportunities for miscommunication to occur. 

Communication between student and professor is critical to accomplishing any given assignment and now more than ever since we are urged to stay at least six feet apart. Because there is no longer an option for students to meet in person with their professors, a lack of communication arises. Even online communication with professors through emails or Moodle discussion is ineffective because with no set daily academic schedule, responses are usually unreliably delayed and can even go unanswered, whereas a physical interaction with both parties yields immediate responses. 

Personal examples

My personal experiences with distance learning have led to many instances of miscommunication between me and my professors. One instance was when I needed a question answered about an unclear instruction for an assignment and received a response after the assignment was due. Another was when the professor failed to inform me of a change to an assignment because they uploaded the new information in a Moodle tab that was unrelated to the given assignment, therefore nearly completely hiding it from my direct view. 

Opinions vary among students and professors about this new style of education we are all having to adapt to. Based upon my personal experiences I would declare distance learning an ineffective form of education. Communication through distance learning can easily be unsuccessful in relaying important information concerning academics. 

For more information on COVID-19 and the United States’ current actions in disease prevention, such as distance learning, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information specifically for the state of Texas, see https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.

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