Maddy Trester rolls out of bed every Monday and Wednesday five minutes before her 8 a.m. class begins. She sits down at her desk, opens her laptop, signs on to Zoom and joins her class. A couple hours float by and she takes a break before her next class begins. The process repeats, as Maddy Trester participates in all four of her classes. Once her classes end, she stays cooped up in her room to focus on the homework assigned to her. She completes her schoolwork and carries on with her day.
As she attends her classes, however, she hears her twin sister, Ashley, in the other room on her Zoom call at the same time. Occasionally, when her dad is at home on the phone with clients, she hears every word too. The house easily gets noisy and chaotic. It becomes an unideal environment for any student to concentrate and learn in. With constant interruptions and distractions, being at home is bound to create a stressful learning environment.
Students globally are having issues trying to study from home while other family members go about their normal day. According to Zillow.com, more than 2.7 million U.S. adults moved in with a parent or grandparent in March and April as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Meaning that because of COVID-19, each student has readjusted to being at home with family while simultaneously figuring out how to succeed and function in online classes.
The transition from on campus learning to remote learning has proven to be difficult for both students and families. “I find myself extremely distracted if someone comes in my room. I go on my phone during breaks and lose focus too,” said Maddy Trester, a liberal arts student at Orange Coast College.
Something as simple as opening the door to ask a question completely ruins a student’s focus and progress. Technology is another big distraction, as five minutes of screen time can easily change into hours. Students need to stay on track in order to prevail.
Professors are just as defeated too. “I think for all of us it has been much more stressful adjusting to working at home, whether professors, students, etc. It’s a big adjustment and not ideal,” said Leslie Beau, a professor in the Business and Computing Division at OCC.
Every faculty member attempts to make the best out of remote learning, but there are obstacles that get in the way. These obstacles often get in the way of having successful discussions and lectures. Simply put, professors are having as difficult of a time as students are.
“Most of us have had technology problems—not enough Wi-Fi, dropped audio, Zoom sessions, etc.,” Beau said. “It’s very frustrating for everyone.”
There is no telling when classes will resume on campus, so it is important to adjust and make a comfortable study space at home. Let family members know of class schedules and important dates. Most of all, be mindful that everyone is struggling and learning together.