Students give online learning mixed grades

In Spring 2021, the majority of courses at WCC are still online – Pixabay

by Shalon Pires, Special to Ka ‘Ohana

In March 2020, students in the UH System and all over the state were forced to take their studies online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For many, online learning was a new experience that came with many difficulties.

“The amount of distractions was staggering at home,” said WCC student Isis Moran. “Not only that but every time you went online, there was something always going wrong or even when the internet was down or just the website doing maintenance.”

With the amount of distractions, it had gotten to the point where she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue with school.

“… I was very tempted to drop out, but I tried to prevail despite how much I was struggling,” she said.

Moran wasn’t the only one who struggled with online classes. A study from the state Department of Education showed that students in K-12 were also struggling with their grades.  The 2020-2021 Board of Education (BOE) Metrics showed that in English Language Arts (ELA), 21 percent of elementary school students received a ‘well-below’ mark for Q2 (Quarter Two), 8 percent of middle school students received a failing mark for Q2 and 12 percent of high school students received a failing mark for Q2.

Results from the study also revealed that students had a high risk of chronic absenteeism, the act of missing 15 days or more a school year, with 18 percent being at risk. This is higher than the 2019 results from BOE’s Strive HI Performance System data in which 15 percent of students were experiencing chronic absenteeism.

While online learning can be challenging, it also has advantages. Moran noted from her experience, “But on the other hand, it also helps students be more resourceful in a way, in that they can create a space where they can focus on work. And that (they) start to be more reliant on things they never used before like using the reminders app on iOS or buying a planner.”

While the pandemic and social distancing continues, the optimism, hopes and dreams of returning back to a normal life lingers in the thoughts of students.  

“I really missed being able to meet with friends who also go to WCC and also those who don’t,” Moran said. “But I think the main thing I missed was being able to do schoolwork at school. (I just hope that) I can actually do school again physically in the school building. That’s all I ask for education-wise.”