The transition to remote learning was difficult for many faculty and students during the spring semester of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic happened suddenly and many were not prepared to continue their education remotely. Students were expected to quickly adapt to this “new norm,” while trying to balance the changes that were going on around them. Daniel Armah and Rebecca Obeng highlight their experience as virtual students and also discuss the hardest part about learning from home.
Daniel Armah, a junior at Kean majoring in global business, used to be a resident on campus before the pandemic hit. Daniel admits that he does not like remote learning because it has been a struggle for him to focus and stay on top of his work.
"My study habits have changed drastically. I have to find more time to study now because I have a lot going on at home... The transition to remote was hard for me because I like in person classes. I grasp more information in a classroom setting,” Armah said.
Many students prefer in person classes because they can focus better. Some students can be faced with many distractions at home that can divert their attention away from their schoolwork.
Armah has been overcoming the difficulties of remote learning by getting rid of distractions such as his phone or television whenever he is in class or completing an assignment.
Armah's advice to e-learning students is to try their hardest to stay on top of their work because it can be easy to fall behind and lose track when learning from home.
“A tip that I would recommend to ease stress is to implement an hour of quiet time in your daily routine meaning no technology [or] conversations. Just take time out of your day to think and reflect,” Armah said.
Rebecca Obeng is a sophomore biology health profession major who commuted before the pandemic. Her transition to remote learning has been a challenge.
“Remote learning has been hard for me because of at home distractions and being on campus was more of a peaceful environment while having an up close understanding. Learning behind a computer screen, is at times, hard to concentrate," Obeng said. She continued, "it makes you feel trapped and my at-home space isn't as comfortable as being in the library.”
Students have adjusted their study habits to fit the current circumstances. Obeng's study habits have changed drastically since the pandemic. She mentions the difficulty of focusing on studying while also being home and dealing with personal situations.
Remote learning has not been easy for Obeng but she’s been overcoming the difficulties of staying afloat by going to her cousin’s house so that she can focus.
"Coping with family responsibilities has interfered with school work and has been a challenge. I have to plan out my day by writing it down in my planner, dry erase board and setting my phone alarm,” said Obeng. She advises students who may be struggling with organization or structure to consider purchasing journals and planners to help map out assignments.
If students are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to schedule an appointment with the Kean Counseling Center. They are offering remote services for students who want and need to be supported during these trying times. Students can reach them by phone (908) 316-8217 or via email at email@example.com.