Ah, the WFH dream. Rolling out of bed, working in your PJs, taking breaks whenever you want. Well, not quite for year 12s.
At Year13, we surveyed over 2000 students from Class of 2020 (a year that needs no introduction) and found that 70% didn’t enjoy remote learning and 77% said it worsened their performance.
Even though young people’s lives are increasingly online, they don’t want their education to be. And while online learning is a great supplement to what’s learned in the classroom, young people don’t want all their formal learning to be online.
They want to be in school or on campus with their classmates enjoying the social side of school and university. What’s echoed is that asking questions and free-flowing class discussions are a lot easier in person than in clumsy group calls with dozens of attendants. In fact, 87% of students said they missed the face-to-face interaction of in-class learning.
As a 17-year-old male from NSW explained, finding motivation alone at home can be difficult.
“This saw many Zoom meetings, Google classroom tasks, and awkward phone calls from random teachers,” he said.
“I spent a few days actually trying to learn which was effective, but after those few days getting out of bed was hard and I was finding myself slipping into a hole and never really coming out.”
An 18-year-old male from Victoria was also tipped over the edge trying to find study flow at home.
“I can’t participate in school at home. I need to be at school, I can’t concentrate and I can’t learn,” he said.
“This adds to the already mountain of stress. I have to figure out how to study for things that I haven’t been able to learn while at home.”
37% of students also said they didn’t have access to everything they needed at home to learn remotely. This included having a decent space to work, adequate internet and technology, a proper desk and chair, books, and stationery.
As a 17-year-old male from Tasmania told us, “It threw my routines and mindset towards school out of whack and it started to take a toll after just the first week. I started to get angry over nothing and really stressed about being able to achieve my TCE.”
Plus, remote learning just doesn’t make sense for face-to-face, hands-on industries, as expressed by a 17-year-old from NSW.
“Other than practical I’ve done three certificates I’ve completed at TAFE and they’ve all been done over Zoom calls,” he said.
“Yes I’ve got the certificate but I don’t feel like I’ve deserved it, I didn’t learn anything at all. Next year when I’m able to go work in the industry at bars, restaurants and gaming areas I’ve got the certificates but I didn’t practically learn a thing.”
As such, these students don’t want their tertiary education to be online. 65% want their education to be on campus, 34% want a mix of on campus and online, while only 1% want a purely online experience.
Many students like this 17-year-old female from NSW are postponing their studies until they know in-person learning is possible again.
“I learnt how difficult it is to remain engaged in learning and absorb information when doing online learning,” she said.
“Initially I planned to go to university starting 2021, however in light of many universities being online currently I will likely take a gap year in order to ensure my university experience is physical and does not involve online learning.”
WFH is simply a student’s nightmare.