NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Online learning in the pandemic

During this pandemic, it has been difficult for students to learn and concentrate. Some college students have faced a lot of struggles. Also, the professors have been facing difficulties teaching during the pandemic.

Mirrororajah Metcalfe is a student at Northern Essex Community College. Her major is Journalism and Communications. She from Las Vegas.  Metcalfe states that she struggles  learning virtually.

“The hardest part is creating a schedule every week,” she said.

She also is having to email teachers for questions instead of being able to ask. Students also have problems staying focused during this pandemic since everything virtual is been to hard maintain focus. Because we in a different set of learning and don’t see the professor face to face.

Metcalfe said, “for the classes I’m taking I don’t have any virtual meetings.”

Not every student has a virtual meeting this fall semester which can be beneficial since it causes some stress and confusion for students.  Helpful resources are important and take you a long way during learning virtually. It is useful to find any recourse it can help you.

”Honestly just planning my schedule is the most important thing for me so that I can stay organized and not fall behind also getting a planner notebook and doing school work at my desk instead of my bed,” said Metcalfe.  This is very helpful and can make you feel more confident in school and be more prepared to learn.  It can still difficult to stay motivated if you not getting the help you need.

Metcalfe said the way she keeps motivated is “I just have to be in the right mindset to get work done.” Having a positive mindset and getting work done and not procrastinating can take students a long way in school during this pandemic.

A student from Northern Essex Community College, Pachano Matos is an Electrical/computer and Chemical Engineering major. Matos is from the Dominican Republic.

He faced struggles from learning virtually. The struggle Matos has is “I have ADHD, so I have a hard time concentrating and taking the time out to do the class and when reading the material, I get distracted and bored and usually don’t finish and I’m working full time,” he said.

It can be hard for students to learn especially with learning disabilities. It’s hard to stay focus during virtual learning if you are distracted easily.

There are ways to fix it, This is what the Matos said about fixing the issue about him not concentrating. “I don’t really. I’m always late for everything I tried and plan but at the end of the day it really does not work for me. In a zoom classroom. I can turn off mic and camera and just do other things and the whole things class is in the background. The lectures that I have to read I don’t, and the discussion board I don’t really participate.”

This student has problems staying focused and being on task because it’s hard for him to pay attention and to make a schedule for the upcoming day. Some students having trouble with the same thing as well it can be hard to also achieve in school while learning virtually.

Matos also stated about his grades. “for example, I am taking one class so far in person. And in that class so far, I have 60 points out of 60 compare that to one of the classes complete online where have 48 out of 70.”

Students have been struggling on maintaining good grades since the semester started. That’s why good methods come in handy for some students during this virtual learning. This is what Matos said about his resources: “Honestly I don’t think I can with all honestly say that there’s any of me. Except maybe for the school paying for half of my computer.” Paying for expenses of students has helped a lot and has put less stress in their life. It also made it is easier for them to study and pass in work.

It has been very difficult for students to stay motivated during a pandemic. Especially if they can’t seek help.  Matos struggles during the pandemic, with staying motivated.

“I have my good share of struggle even if we are on campus, but being so behind in almost all of my classes and losing point in such unnecessary manner, and having to self-teach for me most part and trying to juggle everything and that at the end of the day may not be enough,” he said.

“It’s hard to want to continue … It  seems that the system doesn’t really care for the odd ones out. The school is set up as one fits all kind of education when life doesn’t work like that. And they should allow some people, learning remotely being able to take classes on campus and practicing social distancing. I know it is possible because it is a reality to one of my classes,” he said.

Mary Jo Shafer teaches journalism and English Composition at Northern Essex Community College. She is also the faculty adviser for the college student newspaper the NECC Observer, which is not publishing a print issue right now but is being updated on its website.

Learning virtually can be a struggle and teaching can be a struggle too. Before this semester Shafer said she had never taught fully online.

She said, like many of her students, she has also struggled to stay focused during this stressful time.

The work environment made it tough to stay focused during this pandemic and attention span has gotten shorter, she said. Teachers also had resources to help them out during this time as well and she took a class this summer on how to design online courses.

The professor stated that she had some helpful resources, including coaches this summer ot help her design online courses.  She said that she knows many people have struggled with staying motivated during this pandemic and that she realizes it has been hard for the students as well.

“This affected professors in college as well,” she said. “Everybody had different struggles …. because everybody had a different experience …. but everyone did struggle during this new transition from working on campus to working from home.”

Being a student and teacher during this pandemic has been a struggle for many students and professors in schools, not just Northern Essex Community College. My sources all had a different experience, different issues but they all can relate to one another’s struggle.