The pandemic has accelerated many processes that we have been quite reluctant to implement in our daily lives. For a long time, remote working was a benefit and learning in this way was only possible in exceptional circumstances. Everything has changed in a very short time, and home office and remote learning have become natural. But has this worked out well for all those who are involved?
You get out of bed, turn on your computer and 30 seconds later you’re in class. Convenient, right? You don’t have to rush to lectures, which are usually boring, the lecturer’s approach is mediocre to say the least, but they usually check attendance. Nightmare.
In such situations, remote connection is indeed convenient. However, there are many lecturers whose classes are a pleasure to attend. The distance learning formula for many students can signify a real loss.
Anecdotes Off The Record
Academic professor are often people with a wide horizons, large service for the worlds education and a unique sense of humour. During their speeches in the auditorium there appears stories as well as jokes which are not ideal for the general public. In a remote lessons environment is different as professors are aware they are being recorded and would rather avoid topics that would be considered controversial.
I don’t think anyone would want to become not so much a laughing stock or go as viral as a meme. Today, it only takes a few seconds. Not surprisingly, lectures have become cool and official. All stories or jokes have given way to a more formal environment, which makes it difficult to find interesting interludes in lectures. Little to few speakers can answer students that “most important point in microeconomics, as though not the only, is the G point”
In this situation, it is the whole context and the lecture atmosphere that counts. An answer phrased in this way would provoke a salvo of laughter. Nevertheless, the event would have made it possible to remember an important piece of material. In subsequent conversations, it would be enough to simply quote an anecdote to direct almost everyone’s thoughts to the topic. In remote learning, although convenient and practical, you can rarely count on such interludes. Which is a shame.
Digitally Excluded Lecturer
Enlightened minds have problems with trivial matters. This is sometimes the case for the digitally excluded. The university requires every lecturer to be proficient in the use of new technologies. However, an eminent but retired professor, who is passionate about sharing his knowledge, may struggle to handle new technologies. Young, impatient people may be annoyed by perpetual delays and hardware problems for 1/3 of the lectures.
A lecture at a university where the lecturer presents one slide for a whole semester is annoying. The frustration will prove all the greater if the same still image is continually displayed on the monitor during remote learning. The screens make it difficult to focus attention for any length of time in many cases. If, on top of that, nothing is happening and you are supposed to be receiving a radio-like transmission, you may end up oversleeping the lectures after all.
Learning Together In The Library
Studying in the library is not a strange trend from American films. Living in a student accommodation or a hostel with friends can be a real challenge. Sometimes the only place where you can really concentrate is in the library.
Imagine that a pandemic has forced you to return to your family home and you are locked in one room with your younger siblings. Intimacy and private matters are virtually non-existent. What’s more, there is a person next to you who has far less educational worries and spends a lot of time playing games and the atmosphere is much relaxed.
On top of that, communication over microphones and bursts of laughter can make it difficult to concentrate. Fighting for a moment of peace then becomes quite a challenge.
The library is not only a place of learning, but also a treasure trove of knowledge. Being able to borrow the necessary materials or analyse a chapter of a book without having to buy it is a major advantage for the student. When cut off from these resources, the matter is partly solved by the internet, but reaching certain sources of knowledge may be at a cost.
Universities offer the possibility to have its physical resources scanned for students for a fee. However, this is often a chargeable service. The expense of a few zlotys or a few tens of pence per page is a sufficient argument for not obtaining materials from the library.
Studying at a university provides unlimited access to knowledge. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the lack of digital solutions have meant that this form of learning has its dark sides and limitations.
Working In Groups
Studying is an opportunity to do interesting projects and join various interest groups. If a group of people know each other well, the change in the form of communication may be a slight hindrance. However, when there is a high turnover of people, it can be challenging to make friends with a formalised communication channel.
Working in groups can also be very demanding. When there are people in a team who do not want to take a task lightly, they usually take on the burden of completing it. At the end, the rest of the “participants” add their names to the list and everyone hopes for a successful completion
You have certainly been involved in this kind of work. However, there are lecturers who have an idea of didactics, in which case unique skills and knowledge can actually be gained during the course of the project. In a situation where the contact is only digital, the collaboration can be unsatisfactory and problematic in getting everyone’s commitment.
Studies Requiring Tools
Studying humanities at university does not require extensive infrastructure and specialised tools. Often, a computer with internet access is sufficient. If you intend to study technical subjects and, for example, go to study abroad for this purpose but end up spending most of the time in your room or hostel, you are realistically missing out on some opportunities.
Technical students often conduct experiments. This gives them the opportunity to learn the mechanics of how equipment works, they can watch machines malfunction when parameters are entered incorrectly, or they have access to materials that are not commonly available in shops.
The remote formula can make learning more difficult. Watching an experiment online is not the same as completing the task yourself. After all, there is a difference between driving a Ferrari in a simulator and one on a real track.
Self-Discipline And Academic Rhythm
Students’ academic progress must be checked regularly. After all, studying at university involves colloquia and examinations, during which it is difficult to cheat if they are conducted in the lecturer’s room. During remote learning, the eye of the camera is not able to cover the entire room in which the student is located. This gives room for cheating and downloading, which makes learning even more lazy and demotivating.
There is also no shortage of people who have so little self-discipline that they find it difficult to study regularly, let alone revise. All this means that many students may give up on their studies due to insufficient incentives to stimulate regularity.
Studying Remotely And Studying Abroad
The internet and technology provide the opportunity to study remotely at any university in the world. It is worth noting, however, that this requires a great deal of self-discipline and commitment, which is difficult to maintain alone. Surrounding yourself with people who face similar challenges fuels healthy competition and this motivates you. In front of a computer screen, this effect is not easy to achieve.
Studying abroad can be compared to the aforementioned Ferrari ride, but in person. You can surround yourself with learning, feel the power enchanted within the sometimes centuries-old walls of a university and benefit from the vast layers of knowledge. In this case, the sensations and emotions that, at least at the current level of development, technology does not know how to deliver become important. After all, was a remote holiday, rather than physically visiting a location, appealing to you?
Remote Learning Costs
Undoubtedly, technology makes many things easier. It enabled a huge number of institutions and businesses to function normally during the pandemic. However, most people need not only digital, but also physical contact with others. This fosters relationships and at the same time drives and motivates people.
The same is true for learning. Studying abroad is an opportunity to experience new cultures, explore and develop skills. All of these experiences are much more enjoyable when you can experience them physically.
If you’re about to start studying abroad and want to get a feel for the university atmosphere and all the benefits that come with it, get in touch with us.Universities in the British Isles are waiting for you!