Is online learning as convenient as it is made out to be?


Online classes are supposed to make the lives of students easier and cooperate with the schedules of kids who do not go to school full day; at least that is what some think. Whether it is due to sports or other outside activities, or simply because they prefer learning online, the opportunity is for anyone who wants it. However, many taking these classes believe they are more inconvenient and confusing than they should be. 

Over 130 students use Chandler Online Academy (COA) with a student to teacher ratio of 46:1. With all the kids doing their assignments at different times, the teachers are not always available. 

Karen Hutchinson teaches honors chemistry on campus and online chemistry for COA. This means she has to deal with not only face-to-face teaching, but also the online course. She is not available at all times and cannot always tend to kids who have questions as quickly as an in-person teacher could.

Hutchinson’s honors chemistry class has also started working online but for this course, they learn lessons and practice with what is provided.

“I think it’s great that students have more ways to learn and teach themselves now, it’s just going to take some time to find out how to make it really work,” Hutchinson says about her class having the chance to learn the lessons online. 

“I thought taking an online class would be easier because I could go at my own pace, but sometimes what they give you to learn doesn’t even teach you what you need to know,” sophomore Avery Clark says about her online American History class. 

Teaching yourself material when you are so used to someone who is an expert describing the lesson to you in depth is a difficult change. Sometimes the subject needs more explanation than what is given and it is hard to know where to go to find it. 

“There’ve been times when I wouldn’t really understand what I was supposed to do for an assignment but my teacher wasn’t able to respond for a long time and all I could do was wait for her,” Clark explains

As schools have begun to incorporate more online work in their classes, students subject to this work are having mixed emotions about it.

“At first I thought it’d be easier having homework online, but it’s actually a lot harder and sometimes you’ll put the right answer but it will be wrong because you typed one thing wrong or put a period and it doesn’t make sense,” junior Lauryn Terry says about the online homework her Algebra 2 class does.

Some teachers prefer giving online assignments and others would rather stick to paper. Whatever the feelings towards online work or the reasons people feel how they do, online learning is becoming more dominant every year. Only time will tell if it was a positive change or not.